xvid entertainment news tecnologia e tempo libero


Formula E driver Oliver Askew on the challenges of a rookie season

As an all-electric racing series, Formula E presents a unique set of challenges for drivers. The hurdles include power management, when to enable attack mode and the constant effort not to overheat the tires. The day before the Monaco E-Prix, we stopped by the Avalanche Andretti Racing garage to chat with Formula E rookie Oliver Askew, the lone American driver in the series. Askew discusses the series’ challenges, racing in Monaco and the new Gen3 car.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Billy Steele: With this being your first year in Formula E, are there any specific challenges that are unique to this series? Are there things you didn't expect or aspects that have been more challenging?

Oliver Askew: Multiple things. We'll start with the tracks. They are very different from what I'm used to. I have raced street tracks from the Road to Indy and IndyCar, but there are different straight tracks, they're a lot more tight. Combine that with how I need to drive this car, which has very little grip. It's very heavy, no aero and we're on treaded tires. So that's been a bit of a challenge.

But it's a race car at the end of the day, and it has good power, good acceleration and it decelerates well. The window of operation is very small, so in the racing situation, with our energy, it's a completely different story.

Qualifying is one thing, but when we go to the race, it's all a big chess match. You are racing other guys and deciding when to deploy energy and when to save energy. Obviously, qualifying is very important. But if you're able to go fast, while saving energy at the same time, you can overtake guys. It's a very action-packed race day, usually, and you keep seeing guys come from the back to the front by preserving energy in the beginning and then deploying it at the end – and vice versa.

We rely a lot on our engineering. Our preparation in the simulator is massive, especially for me. I show up on the race weekend, and I get like six push laps if I'm lucky before qualifying, which is nothing from what I'm used to.

BS: What is your favorite aspect of Formula E?

OA: I'd like to say that the car suits me. I do like operating in that very small window – the fine margins – especially when we go to the street tracks. It's a game of inches. And though I'm still learning how to get the most out of it, my development is on a very steep road at the moment. And I think it'll continue to be that way until we get to where we want to be at the front.

The traveling aspect I really, really enjoy. It can be tiring. But back in the States racing IndyCar the biggest trip that I would take would be from Florida to Indianapolis, or from Florida to the west coast, which doesn't take much time at all. Traveling to Jakarta and then going back to the simulator in Munich, seeing countries that I wouldn't have the chance to see before this experience, is pretty cool.

BS: And not the opposite. What’s your least favorite?

OA: Probably my teammate, Jake. Super annoying bloke.

Just kidding, we get along really well. I’d say the fact that we get virtually no practice.

BS: Most of your practice is in a simulator, right?

OA: Yeah, and at the end of the day, it’s very impressive what we're able to do there. But it’s still not the real thing.

BS: What are your thoughts on the circuit here in Monaco? It’s quite different from other tracks.

OA: There is a lot of elevation. I've never been to this city before, so I didn't realize how vertical it was. Like you're literally taking elevators across town just to get to where you want to go.

On the track, Monaco is pristine – like everything about it. It's the most gorgeous three track I've ever been to. Combine the harbor and the yachts with the glitz and glam and it's definitely a special place. And just to imagine are legends of sport, icons racing around here. I'll definitely take that in for the first couple laps and then get to work.

BS: Are there any specific challenges to the circuit?

OA: This is our most high speed circuit. To put that into perspective, this is one of Formula 1’s slowest. So yes, these cars are not as quick as the F1 course, but they're very difficult to drive – combined with a very high speed circuit. Take turn three, for example, the line is a very long left hander, and you're cresting the hill on approach. It's difficult to find the braking zone. You have to rely a lot on the car settings through there. And then you take the hairpin, the heavy braking out of the tunnel into turn 10. Like we spoke about before, the brakes in this car are vital to get right.

BS: With this weekend being the debut of Gen3, do you have any initial thoughts on the new car?

OA: Hopefully I get to drive it at some point! On paper, it seems very powerful and very fun to drive. I think the other drivers are in the same boat. It's impressive what they've been able to put into this car. And I think it's going to be a lot more enjoyable to drive than the Gen2.

BS: Is there one aspect that stands out more than the others in terms of the new technology on board?

OA: With four-wheel regeneration, we're able to put twice as much battery into the car throughout a race. We put back 40 percent into the battery of what we use energy-wise during a 45 minute race, which is pretty impressive. The brake zones are kind of going to condense with that extra front axle breaking. I don't know what that's going to do to the racing aspect of the series. It's probably going to make it a lot more difficult to overtake but the excitement is still gonna be there.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/oliver-askew-formula-e-interview-133046575.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Amazon AMP preview: Like the app, my radio show needs a little work

I spent about an hour hand-picking songs for my first Amazon AMP radio show. The social-audio-but-with-music app offers the chance to play radio DJ with just a phone and your imagination. I tried to pick a catchy name for my debut broadcast – “The best House Classics” or something like that. Like all music bores, I was confident I was about to blow some minds with my impeccable taste and hand-picked floor fillers. All that was left to do was click the “Go Live” button. Once you tap it, the app counts you down 5…4…3… . I cleared my throat and then… silence.

AMP was initially reported as something of a Clubhouse competitor, but that’s not really the best way to describe it. Yes, you can sorta-kinda use it as a live chat platform, but music is really the selling point here. When you create a “show” you can add songs from Amazon Music’s library and then stream them to your audience. In between hosts are doing anything from chatting about sports, to comedy skits, having guests call in or just letting the music play. On paper, it’s the app teenage me, with his dual cassette deck and microphone, had been waiting for all his life. It’s just a shame that, right now in its beta form, no one’s really listening.

I’ve spent the last week or two exploring the app and hosting shows and I barely peaked at four simultaneous listeners. Briefly. Usually I was lucky to get one or two people tuning in, but more often than not I was alone. And I definitely didn’t do a whole hour-long show talking to myself in between ‘90s drum bass tracks. Definitely not a thing that happened. Twice.

It’s hard to tell if this is a true reflection of the interest in AMP, given it’s in beta. It's not difficult to get in, as long as you have access to the US App Store / have an iPhone. Technically you also need an invite code, but given that the official AMP Twitter account has one right up top, the app is basically open to everyone who meets the first two criteria.

I speculated I am at a disadvantage being located in Europe, so my shows tend to fall in the middle of the American work day. But I checked the app regularly and even at typical US commute and evening times other people’s shows rarely had more than 10 listeners, usually half that. But again, this is a beta so not an indication of too much. I bring it up now though for the following reason: without a listener, you cannot play songs and that presents a problem. Hence the silence at the start of my big debut show.

In fact, there are a few more restrictions. Not only must you have at least one listener to play music, you can only play two songs from the same album or three songs from the same artist within a three hour period. These rules make some sense to prevent the free app being abused. But also that presents a big problem during the beta stage. If I have no listeners, I can’t play a song… so I can only talk. But what is the point of talking if no one is listening?

It certainly made for some intimate moments. I joined someone’s show when they currently had no listeners. I could practically hear the host excitedly rushing to play a song now that they could. I then enjoyed a 1-on-1 human-curated show of hip-hop. Likewise for my own shows, there were definitely some weird moments when I realized it’s just me playing songs for someone else. I ended up using a second account on a spare phone so I wouldn’t have to wait for someone to join (hence the DnB party for one) to fully test the service for this story. This should be less of a problem in the future, but it was frustrating at the start, waiting up to 30 minutes sometimes for a listener to join so you could kick a song off.

Amazon also imposes other curious rules that seem a little ornery if not hard to enforce. For example, you may not make a show consisting mostly of listener requests, you may not announce playlists ahead of time and you may not announce a song until just before it is being played. The difference between can and may I’ll leave up to you.

Setting up a show is straightforward. Tap the button top left, add a title, choose some topics (tags), type a description and then either add songs to a playlist or just throw caution to the wind and go live, adding songs later. I’d recommend having a playlist fleshed out because navigating the song menu screen isn’t very slick right now. You can only enter global search terms – there’s no filter by artist or song title or genre etc. – so finding what you want can sometimes be hit and miss.

More importantly, the library doesn’t seem to be fully fleshed out right now. AMP’s official help pages claim there are “tens of millions of songs” but I sometimes couldn’t find what I was looking for. To be fair, this was usually down to my weird taste in niche ‘90s dance music but I did find songs on decent-size labels that were absent.

For example, “Gold Dust” by DJ Fresh is on Amazon Music for sure, but it wasn’t available in AMP. This is a real crime as anyone who knows that track will attest. I did check again over a week later and saw that a remix had since been added, so it seems the library is growing in real time. More surprisingly, another time I looked for a track by Hot Chip and noticed only half of their albums were listed.

A related issue is that you can’t preview tracks before adding them to your playlist. In my case, that meant a few occasions where I had found a version of the song I wanted, but golly was it not the one I was expecting when I played it, making for a slightly awkward record scratch moment. If you have better taste in music than I, you’re probably fine, but if you were hoping to spin niche cuts or even some fairly well known synthpop you might want to revise that plan for now.

I know AMP is designed to be a mobile-first experience, but I do wish there were at least some tools to prep your show on desktop first. I often resorted to finding tunes on my PC and then just looking up tracks on the phone while setting up the show. I also learned the hard way that if you schedule a show for the future and then sleep through the time it was set for, the show and all the tracks you added to it disappears (I’d at least have liked the option to reschedule it!).

Relatedly, you can’t add tracks to some sort of “record box” or bookmark them for later shows. I found myself thinking of great tunes for other shows but had to just keep a notepad going for later reference. Likewise, once you finish a show, that’s it, poof… gone. There’s no way for people to go back and listen again or scroll through your feed to see what you tend to play etc.

In its current state, the app also doesn’t offer any way to fade out a song or speak over it while it’s playing. This seems minor, but it does mean you either have to wait until the bitter end of a song before you talk (and then with no music “bed”) or cut a track off prematurely. I heard people doing both but it would be nice to have a more gentle way to transition tracks.

Once your show is over, AMP will give you a little slide show of stats. As you can imagine, this was a bit painful for me as it gleefully told me I peaked at two listeners and had one like, but this would definitely be cool once you have an audience.

Amazon has enlisted some popular creators to showcase the platform and give it some gravitas. These are instantly identifiable as they will be the only shows with a bunch of people listening. AMP promotes these accounts and they are featured on the website, but I do wonder where all these listeners go the rest of the time. The fact you can’t currently click on the show's listener count to see who’s tuning in means you can’t size up potential listeners for your own show.

In fact, the “social media” element of the app is possibly the most limited part right now. For starters there’s no way to share a link to your show. I know the app is in beta, but given how open that is, I would have thought sharing links is a basic enough thing to enable. AMP offers links to recommended shows in its newsletters which you can adulterate to link to your own but you need the app installed for them to work so that’s still less than ideal.

Discovery is also not fully fleshed out at this point. When you open the app you’ll be presented with shows currently on air as you swipe through one by one. Then once you reach the end you’ll see what’s scheduled for the future, but right now there’s no real way to drill down by genre or topic. You can search, but a host needs to have scheduled shows for them to turn up in results.

It’s also clear that, right from the start, Amazon is trying to encourage diverse voices to join and host. The company was explicit about that in the run up to its launch, and it seems to be working. The types of show and the people behind them have all been refreshingly varied and this I feel is important to AMP finding its way to stand out. The music aspect alone makes it different from rivals like Clubhouse, Greenroom and even Twitter Spaces. But the voices it amplifies will be the secret sauce.

This for me was really the most rewarding part. I thought hosting my own shows would be fun, and it was, but it was the exposure to other music that was the most rewarding. I often joined shows with no listeners to allow them to kick off some tunes and then found myself staying. Other times I figured I’d dip into a show with a genre I don’t normally listen to and was more often than not surprised to find things I liked. Being a DJ is cool, but hearing new, hand-picked music is even cooler.

Rough edges aside, there’s a lot of promise here. It’s understandable that no one wants to listen to my favorite Happy Hardcore songs (the ones I could find on the app at least) at 2pm on a Wednesday. But if, like me, you kinda prefer the human touch over an algorithmic recommendation and the chance to stumble into new worlds of music then AMP makes a lot of sense. And of course, as with all such creator-based services as more people join, the culture and flavor of the platform starts to change organically (remember when TikTok was about people dancing to songs?). Once AMP is open to the public proper, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. For now, if you want to hear rando dance music, I’ll be here… waiting.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-amp-dj-app-140031755.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Epic asks court to stop Google’s removal of Bandcamp from the Play Store (updated)

Now that Epic Games is buying Bandcamp, it's worried Google might pull the music app. In association with its antitrust lawsuit, Epic has filed for a preliminary injunction that would bar Google from removing or otherwise blocking access to Bandcamp on the Play Store. Most notably, the developer claims Google's stricter in-app purchase requirements (which will demand that Bandcamp use Google's billing system from June 1st) and delayed payments (from a maximum 48 hours to as long as 45 days) would cause "irreparable harm" to both Epic and musicians.

 Epic also maintains that it's likely to prevail in its antitrust case. Google, meanwhile, will reportedly face "no harm" if the existing Play Store policies remain in place.

We've asked Google for comment. There's a good chance the Android creator will object to the injunction. It countersued Epic in October for "willfully" violating Play Store rules with Fortnite's in-house billing, and a successful request would force Google to make an exception to the updated policies for Bandcamp.

Whether or not it succeeds, the injunction filing would draw attention to regulatory pressure on Google and its arch-rival Apple. Google is facing an antitrust suit from 36 states and Washington, DC over its alleged abuses of Play Store control, while the company and Apple are facing a wave of bills and other inquiries into their app policies. People are closely watching how Google treats Bandcamp, and pulling the app could fuel more criticism or legal action.

Update 4/29 3:05PM ET: Google told Engadget it rejects Epic's argument, and that Bandcamp would only have to pay a 10 percent fee. You can read the full statement below.

"This is yet another meritless claim by Epic, which is now using its newly acquired app Bandcamp to continue its effort to avoid paying for the value that Google Play provides. We’ve been transparent about Play’s Payment policy for more than 18 months and, as Epic knows, Bandcamp is eligible for a service fee of just 10% through Play’s Media Experience Program—far less than the fees they charge on their own platforms. Despite their claims, Android’s openness means that Bandcamp has multiple ways of distributing their app to Android users, including through other app stores, directly to users via their website or as a consumption-only app as they do on iOS."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/epic-preliminary-injunction-google-bandcamp-app-151821052.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Formula E teams envision what Gen3 livery could look like

It's a big week for Formula E. The all-electric racing series has debuted it's incredibly efficient Gen3 car ahead of this weekend's Monaco E-Prix. And while Formula E's show car gave us a good idea of what the next-gen racer will look like when it hits the track next season, it wasn't exactly decked out in circuit-ready livery. Thankfully, some of the teams have shared concepts of what their cars could look like in Season 9, so those give us a better reference point for track-ready Gen3 cars. 

Gallery: Formula E Gen3 livery concepts | 4 Photos

  • Mahindra Racing Formula E Gen3 concept
  • Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E Gen3 concept
  • Nissan e.dams Racing Formula E Gen concept
  • Envision Racing Formula E Gen3 concept

Gallery: Formula E Gen3 livery concepts | 4 Photos

  • Mahindra Racing Formula E Gen3 concept

  • Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E Gen3 concept

  • Nissan e.dams Racing Formula E Gen concept

  • Envision Racing Formula E Gen3 concept

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/formula-e-gen3-livery-concepts-153036630.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Apple extends update deadline for outdated apps in danger of being deleted

Apple recently sent notices to some indie developers, warning them that their app will be pulled from the App Store if it's not updated within 30 days. The tech giant has had a policy in place against outdated and abandoned applications since 2016, but the move suggests that it's now more rigorously enforcing that rule. Some of the letters' recipients criticized the policy for being a barrier to indie developers, what with how tough it is to keep up with platform changes and how much work it takes to roll out even a minor update. Now, Apple has published a post clarifying why some old apps are in danger of being removed, along with the announcement that it's giving developers more time to update their applications. 

In the post, the company said that it will only send removal notices to developers whose apps haven't been updated in three years, as well as to devs whose apps have not "been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period." Apple said that dropping outdated apps makes newer ones more discoverable and also ensures users can enjoy games and tools that have been optimized for its latest OS and devices. 

As a lot of people know, there are older apps don't work as well on the latest generation of phones, tablets and laptops anymore, delivering a subpar user experience. Still, 30 days might not be nowhere near enough time for smaller developers to conjure up an update. The good news is that Apple has extended its grace period and is now giving them up to 90 days to update their applications. Users will get to keep apps that are already installed on their devices even if they end up getting deleted, and developers can continue earning from them through microtransactions. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-extends-outdated-apps-update-deadline-093652497.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

AirPods Pro are down to $175, plus the rest of the week’s best tech deals

Mother's Day is right around the corner, and if you want to pick up a new piece of tech for mom, you can do so for less before the holiday. A number of Apple devices are on sale, including the latest iPad Air and the AirPods Pro, while a bunch of earbuds have been discounted, too, like the newest models from Beats and Jabra. The Fitbit Charge 5 remains on sale for $130, while a few of iRobot's latest robot vacuums are hundreds of dollars off. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.

AirPods Pro

Apple's AirPods Pro are back on sale for $175, which is 30 percent off their normal price. We gave them a score of 87 for their improved fit, good audio quality and solid ANC.

Buy AirPods Pro at Amazon - $175

16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple's latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is $250 off and down to $2,249. While that's still a hefty price tag, it's the lowest we've seen since the laptop came out last year. We gave the notebook a score of 92 for its super fast performance, stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, fantastic keyboard and array of ports.

Buy 16-inch MacBook Pro at Amazon - $2,249

Apple Watch Series 7

Many color options of the 41mm Apple Watch Series 7 are down to $330, or $70 off their normal price. We gave the wearable a score of 90 for its bigger screen, faster charging and handy watchOS 8 features.

Buy Apple Watch Series 7 at Amazon - $330

iPad Air

The latest iPad Air is $40 off and down to $559. We gave it a score of 90 for its much improved performance thanks to the M1 chip, Center Stage-capable cameras, good battery life and solid build quality.

Buy iPad Air at Amazon - $559

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The entire Galaxy S22 lineup is on sale right now, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the S22+ both seeing $200 discounts. The standard S22 is $100 off and down to $700 as well. If you want the best that Samsung has to offer right now, we recommend going for the S22 Ultra, which earned a score of 89 from us for its bright, colorful display, built-in S Pen and solid cameras.

Buy Galaxy S22 Ultra at Amazon - $1,000
Buy Galaxy S22+ at Amazon - $800
Buy Galaxy S22 at Amazon - $700

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Both the 40mm and the 44mm Galaxy Watch 4 models are $50 off and down to $200 and $230, respectively. While not record lows, these sale prices are some of the best we've seen since last Black Friday. We gave the Galaxy Watch 4 a score of 85 for its bright, crisp display, comprehensive head tracking and improved third-party app support.

Buy Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm) at Amazon - $200
Buy Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm) at Amazon - $230

Beats Fit Pro

The new Beats Fit Pro earbuds are $20 off and down to $180. That's one of the best prices we've seen all year, and they earned a score of 87 from us for their comfortable fit, punchy bass, solid ANC and loads of handy features.

Buy Beats Fit Pro at Amazon - $180

Beats Studio Buds

The Beats Studio Buds are back down to a record low of $100. We gave them a score of 84 for their tiny, comfortable design, balanced sound and quick-pairing on both Android and iOS.

Buy Beats Studio Buds at Amazon - $100

Solo Stove

Solo Stove's spring sale knocks hundreds off its fire pits, so you can grab one for as low as $200. The Ranger, which is the smallest model, comes in at that price, while the mid-sized Bonfire is $160 off and down to $240 and the big Yukon is a whopping $325 off and down to $425. We've recommended these gadgets in may outdoor guides because they're fairly portable and create fires that won't smoke you out.

Shop Solo Stove spring sale

Echo Dot

Amazon's Echo Dot is still on sale for $28, and you can get the tiny smart speaker bundled with a smart plug for only $5 more. We gave the Echo Dot a score of 88 for its attractive design, decent audio quality and tap-to-snooze alarm feature.

Buy Echo Dot at Amazon - $28

Echo Show 5

The second-gen Echo Show 5 is down to $45 right now, which is half off its normal price. We gave it a score of 85 for its great sound quality, compact size and tap-to-snooze feature. And if you want to up your smart home game, you can get a two-pack of the Blink Mini indoor security camera for only $35. They'll work with the Echo Show 5, allowing you to see camera feeds from the smart clock's display.

Buy Echo Show 5 at Amazon - $45
Buy Blink Mini (2 pack) at Amazon - $35

Nintendo $50 eShop gift card

You can still save $5 when you buy a Nintendo $50 eShop gift card from Amazon, so you'll get the full $50 for only $45. You can then use those funds to get new titles like Kirby and the Forgotten Land, or stock up on a bunch of more affordable games.

Buy Nintendo $50 eShop gift card at Amazon - $45

Jabra Elite 4 Active

Jabra's new Elite 4 Active earbuds are $20 off and down to $100, which is a new record low. The budget-friendly Elite 3 are also on sale and down to only $60. We gave the Elite 4 Active a score of 84 for their comfort fit, solid sound quality and customizable ANC, while the Elite 3 came in at 88 thanks to their good battery life, reliable onboard controls and comfortable fit.

Buy Elite 4 Active at Amazon - $100
Buy Elite 3 at Amazon - $60

Roomba 694

iRobot's affordable Roomba 694 is still on sale for $180 right now, which is a record low. This is one of our favorite budget-friendly robot vacuums thanks to its easy to use mobile app, good cleaning power and sleek design.

Buy Roomba 694 at Amazon - $180

Roomba j7+

The Roomba j7+ robo-vac and the Roomba s9+ are both $200 off right now and down to $599 and $799, respectively. These are both advanced machines from iRobot, with the j7+ sporting a pet poop detection feature, while the s9+ has the strongest suction power of all of the company's robot vacuums. Both also come with clean bases, so you won't have to empty their dustbins manually after each cleaning job.

Buy Roomba j7+ at Amazon - $599
Buy Roomba s9+ at Amazon - $799

Fitbit Charge 5

The Fitbit Charge 5 tracker is down to $130, which is only $10 more than its record-low price. We gave the device a score of 82 for its accurate onboard GPS, slim design, standard Fitbit Pay and long battery life.

Buy Fitbit Charge 5 at Amazon - $130

Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 multicooker

Ninja's 10-in-1 multicooker is $70 off and down to $130, which is close to its all-time-low price. This is a solid alternative to an Instant Pot as it has a bunch of cooking modes including pressure cook, slow cook, steam, yogurt and even air fry.

Buy Ninja 10-in-1 multicooker at Amazon - $130

Google Nest thermostats

Both Google's standard Nest Thermostat and the more advanced Learning model remain discounted right now. You can pick up the regular version for $100, while the Learning Thermostat is still on sale for $200. They share most of the same features, but you'll get a slicker design, a higher-res display and the ability to connect with Nest Temperature Sensors with the Learning model.

Buy Nest Thermostat at Amazon - $100
Buy Nest Learning Thermostat at Amazon - $200

Google Nest Video Doorbell Battery

A handful of Google smart home devices are on sale right now, including the Nest Video Doorbell Battery, which is $30 off and down to $150. This gadget will let you keep an eye on what's going on outside your door from your phone, and there are no wires to fuss with when you install it. You can also pick up the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor for less, coming in at $80 and $150, respectively.

Buy Nest Cam Indoor at Adorama - $80
Buy Nest Cam Outdoor at Adorama - $150
Buy Nest Cam Outdoor at BH - $150
Buy Nest Video Doorbell Battery at Adorama - $150
Buy Nest Video Doorbell Battery at BH - $150

New tech deals

JBL Xtreme 3

This midrange Bluetooth speaker is $80 off and down to $300, which is the cheapest we've seen it. It earned a spot in our portable Bluetooth speaker guide for its dynamic yet balanced sound quality, IP67-rated design and relatively compact size.

Buy JBL Xtreme 3 at Amazon - $300

Withings ScanWatch

Withings' ScanWatch is $50 off and down to $230 right now. It's a hybrid timepiece, so if you like the look of analog watches, this might be the wearable for you. In addition to all-day activity and sleep tracking, the ScanWatch also takes electrocardigrams and tracks heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory wellness and more.

Buy Withings ScanWatch at Amazon - $230

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

For a limited time, you can pick up the ThermoPop instant-read thermometer for $14 less than usual, bringing it down to $21. This is the smaller sibling to the Thermapen One and we like its splash-proof design, backlit display and cute design.

Buy ThermoPop at ThermoWorks - $21

8Bitdo Arcade Stick

The Arcade Stick from 8BitDo is on sale for a limited time only for just under $76. That's 16 percent off its normal price and the cheapest we've seen it. We liked its distinct, retro design, its solid joysticks and primary buttons and its compatibility with Nintendo Switch, PC and Raspberry Pi.

Buy 8BitDo Arcade Stick at Amazon - $76

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-airpods-pro-down-to-175-best-tech-deals-this-week-154547485.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

The ‘Overwatch 2’ beta brings fresh content to a stale game

My love of indie games and weird hardware is well documented, but I have to admit it here: The game I’ve sunk the most hours into is Overwatch. I’ve been playing since it came out in 2016, mostly on PlayStation, but I also have accounts on Xbox and PC. I main Mei, D.Va and Moira, with a side of Symmetra and Orisa, and to this day I play competitive mode about three times a week.

I’ve been desperate to get my hands on Overwatch 2, especially since Blizzard has been teasing it for more than two years. This week, the Overwatch 2 beta went live and I finally got to see how this thing plays, complete with the new damage hero, Sojourn, and a fresh 5v5 format.

Let’s call it like it is: Overwatch has grown stale over the past year or so, with minimal updates and an unofficial freeze on new heroes, maps and modes. This isn’t just opinion, either – it got so bad that game director Aaron Keller actually apologized for the lack of Overwatch content and communication back in March.

The beta is by no means a finished product, but it features all the things Blizzard is trying to tweak, including updates to audio cues, crisper animations and environments, and complete reworks for some longtime heroes. Overwatch 2 looks and sounds great already, and I don’t think it’s just because we’ve been starved for new content for so long. Gunshots and explosions carry more bass and cut off cleanly, while the sound of a headshot breaks through the chaos with a sharp, satisfying ping.

Alongside visual and lighting improvements to existing maps, Overwatch 2 adds a new scoreboard when pressing tab that shows stats for all players in the game, listing out kills, assists, deaths, healing and damage output. I appreciate the transparency, but even with all the data laid bare, I don’t think this will stop toxic players from yelling at their healers every time they lose a round, and even when they win. (Seriously, chill out – we’re playing with literal kids half the time.)

Overwatch 2 introduces four new maps and a new game mode called Push, which replaces Assault in competitive and quick play. That means there are no more Assault maps in standard rotation, and honestly, I’m happy to say goodbye to Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya, Paris, and Horizon Lunar Colony. These maps feel static and restrictive, and I particularly enjoy the action built into Toronto and Rome, the new Push environments.

In Push, teams attempt to take control of a large robot and make it move a barricade toward the enemy base; both Toronto and Rome have multiple stairways, bridges and platforms to scale, with a wide, winding path for the robot to walk down. The maps are filled with idle vehicles, pillars and streetlights, offering cover and stumbling blocks in equal measure. Toronto and Rome feel more alive than the former Assault maps, and the pacing of these Push matches evolves deliciously as the game progresses. In well-balanced matches, ownership of the robot swaps back and forth like tug-of-war while a timer ticks down, and the team that’s pushed the barricade the farthest wins. But even in one-sided rounds, as the robot gets closer and closer to the enemy base, the walk back to battle for the winning team becomes longer and longer, increasing the stakes of each death.

In terms of gameplay, the most notable feature of Overwatch 2 is the shift from 6-player teams to 5, losing one tank role in the process. That means two healers, two damage heroes and one tank per team. I’ll be honest, I barely notice the reduction in player count in any mode, and matches are still packed with plenty of movement, strategy and danger. Playing as a tank doesn’t feel overwhelming, either. Blizzard adjusted the stats of all tank heroes – and Doomfist, who moved from damage to tank – to compensate for the roster change and it seems to be shaking out just fine.

Speaking of heroes, Sojourn is the first new character to hit Overwatch in two years, and she’s a ton of fun to play, if a little basic. Sojourn is another transhumanist hero and her main weapon is a big ol’ gun. Her primary ability is a railgun that fires energy projectiles and it’s similar to Soldier 76’s main weapon; her secondary option is a single, high-impact shot that hits exactly where it’s fired, no leading required. This shot isn’t automatically available – it charges up when Sojourn lands hits with her primary weapon, and the charge disappears if she stops dealing damage, incentivizing action at all times. Swapping between projectile and hitscan abilities is tricky, and this adds a lovely layer of complexity to Sojourn’s skillset. Otherwise, she’s able to slide a significant distance in any direction and she can throw out an energy orb that pulls enemies in and damages them in a circular area. Her ultimate is fairly lackluster, basically adding a buff to her railgun for a short time. I assume Blizzard will swap out this ability down the line, maybe even before the full game launches. Remember, this is all still a beta and rumor has it Overwatch 2 won’t actually come out until 2023, so I’m banking on a few significant overhauls.

In total, 26 existing heroes have been updated for Overwatch 2. Orisa saw some of the most drastic changes: Her shield and gravity orb are gone, replaced by an incredibly satisfying javelin. She can throw the spear straight at enemies for ranged skill shots and a powerful knockback, or spin it in front of her, deflecting incoming projectiles, and damaging and knocking back any enemies she runs into. Her ultimate is much improved, too – instead of offering a buff to the team, Orisa stands in place, pulling in enemies and gathering power before releasing it in a wave of damage. I tend to play every tank like a dive tank, and especially with the spinning javelin and her fortify ability, Orisa is actually up for the challenge.

Not every Overwatch 2 rework is successful, in my book. Mei is one of my mains and she’s been nerfed within an inch of her life – her endothermic blaster doesn’t actually freeze enemies any more, instead slowing them down at a constant rate with no build-up. Her ice wall is weaker and can’t travel as far, her cryo-freeze won’t protect her from Sigma’s gravitic flux, and her ultimate is harder to unlock. Blizzard, why do you hate Mei? I’m asking for a friend. That friend is Mei.

Overall, this feels like the Overwatch revamp we wanted. In beta, Overwatch 2 looks and sounds better than the original, and its new game mode, hero and maps feel great, even with one fewer player per team. Now just buff Mei and get this game to the masses, Blizzard. We’ve waited long enough.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2-beta-first-look-160005268.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Sony closes a PS Plus loophole by pausing subscription extensions

Sony has temporarily prevented existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now members from extending their subscriptions as it prepares to combine them into the revamped PS Plus. It's a clear attempt to stop users from getting years of access to the highest tier of the updated service on the cheap.

When Sony announced the new plans last month, it said PlayStation Now members would have their subscription converted to PS Plus Premium for the same length of time. That level of the service will include the current PS Plus benefits and 400 PS4 and PS5 titles from the middle tier, as well as hundreds of games from previous generations and cloud streaming on PS4, PS5 and PC. 

Sony clarified this week that if a user has both PS Plus and PS Now memberships active when the new service launches in the coming weeks, they'll get access to PS Plus Premium for the longer of the two terms before having to renew. In other words, if you had seven years left to run on your PS Plus plan after stacking one-year memberships, but recently took out a 12-month PS Now subscription, you'd get seven years of access to PS Plus Premium at a significant discount after the switch.

As spotted by Twitter gaming deals maestro Wario64, Sony has updated its PS Plus FAQ section to note that current subscribers of PS Plus and PS Now are unable to redeem voucher codes and extend their memberships for the time being. They'll be able to redeem them again when either their current membership lapses or the new PS Plus service is available in their region — whichever of those occurs first. As such, the company has stopped people from taking advantage of the PS Plus Premium loophole.

"As we prepare to launch the new PlayStation Plus membership service, we are doing some work behind the scenes to make the transition as smooth as possible for all of our existing members," Sony said. "As part of this work, we’ve temporarily disabled stacking memberships for existing customers until after the launch."

If you have an unredeemed voucher, it will now convert to a length of time equivalent to its monetary value. So, if you're currently a subscriber and have a one-month PS Plus or PS Now code lying in a drawer somewhere, that can convert to a month of PS Plus Essential or 17 days of PS Plus Premium access. Sony has published a conversion chart detailing how that all works.

The revamped PS Plus service is scheduled to launch in some Asian markets on May 23rd, Japan on June 1st, the Americas on June 13th and Europe on June 22nd. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/sony-ps-plus-ps-now-subscription-stacking-loophole-ps-plus-premium-150811385.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Airbnb’s safety team will be the focus of a documentary series

Airbnb rentals sometimes turn sour, and media moguls are betting that this makes for quality entertainment. Deadline has learned Queer Eye company Scout Productions is teaming with Bloomberg to produce a documentary series on Airbnb's safety team. The show will be based on an investigative piece from Olivia Carville that outlines how an "elite" team handles horrific incidents, including hidden camera creeps, scammers and cleaning up the aftermaths of violent crimes.

The Airbnb docuseries doesn't have a tentative release date. It's also unclear which providers will carry the show, although it won't be surprising if it reaches a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix.

The project is the latest in a succession of documentaries and semi-fictional adaptations covering major names in tech. Apple's WeWork series is one of the better-known recent examples, but there have also been productions detailing TikTok, the rise and fall of Theranos and other well-known subjects. More are on the way, too, including Amazon and Netflix documentaries about Blue Origin and SpaceX flights. Hollywood is increasingly convinced you want to see tech triumphs and calamities on TV, and Airbnb apparently has plenty of them. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/airbnb-safety-team-documentary-162531504.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments

Elon Musk reportedly wants to charge for tweet embeds

Should Elon Musk's planned takeover of Twitter be finalized, he may bring in some changes for how tweed embeds work on third-party websites and services. Musk has floated the idea of charging users to embed or quote tweets from verified accounts, according to Reuters, but that wouldn't stop anyone from simply screenshotting a tweet and using that instead.

Even before Twitter's board accepted Musk's offer, there were signs of changes for how embeds work. The company altered some JavaScript, which led to the text of deleted tweets disappearing from sites they were embedded on. A Twitter senior product manager said the change was made to "better respect when people have chosen to delete their tweets." However, after a backlash from the likes of open web and preservation advocates, Twitter backtracked on the move.

Musk reportedly mooted the idea of charging for embeds while attempting to secure debt to finance his $44 billion buyout. He secured $13 billion in loans against Twitter and a $12.5 billion margin loan tied to his Tesla stock (which he this week sold $8.5 billion worth of).

In addition, Musk has mentioned other ways of improving Twitter's bottom line but hasn't made firm commitments on those as yet. He has suggested making changes to the Twitter Blue service to make it more appealing to potential subscribers. In talks with banks, Musk reportedly raised the possibility of job cuts, but isn't expected to make firm decisions on that front until/if he takes the company private. In addition, Musk has publicly mused about getting rid of salaries for board directors, which would save the company around $3 million per year.

Twitter's potential new owner is also said to have plans to replace CEO Parag Agrawal, who took the reins from Jack Dorsey in November. Agrawal is expected to stay in charge until the sale to Musk goes through. According to Reuters, Musk told Twitter chairman Bret Taylor that he wasn't confident in the company's management. However, a lot of details about what Musk's takeover will mean for the company remain up in the air and won't be clear for a while.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/elon-musk-twitter-tweet-embeds-charge-173354164.html?src=rss

Filed under: Tecnology No Comments