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30Jun/220

Apple now lets apps use third-party payment providers in South Korea

Apple has started allowing developers to use alternative payment systems for apps in South Korea, it announced. It made the move to comply with a new law in the nation requiring major app stores to allow alternative payment methods. Apple is still taking a cut from app transactions, though, albeit with a slight reduction in the fee. 

To use alternatives to Apple's own payment system, developers must create a special version of their apps for the Korean App Store. Apple has approved four South Korean payment providers, KCP, Inicis, Toss and NICE and any others must be approved by Apple via a request on its developer website. Certain features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing won't be available, and Apple takes no responsibility for subscription management or refunds. 

Apple originally appealed the law, but eventually agreed to reduce its usual 30 percent commission to 26 percent. That effectively matches Google, which unveiled its Play Store compliance plans shortly after the law was announced with a four percent discounts on its usual commission. 

Apple has faced attacks on its policies over the past few years, kicked off after Epic Games sued it for removing Fortnite from the App Store. In the US, proposed Senate bills would force Apple to allow app sideloading on iOS and other measures. Last year, Apple published a 16-page report explaining why it should be able to keep its ecosystem closed. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-now-allows-third-party-payments-for-apps-in-south-korea-120524308.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

Amazon discounts Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras ahead of Prime Day

If you've had any Blink cameras on your to-buy list, you're in luck. Amazon has discounted both the Indoor and Outdoor versions of its compact, wireless security cameras for Prime members, so you can get a Blink Indoor one-camera pack for $55 and a Blink Outdoor one-camera bundle for $60. The wired Blink Mini has also dropped in price to $30, while the Blink Video Doorbell has been discounted to only $35.

Buy Blink Indoor (Prime exclusive) at Amazon - $55
Buy Blink Outdoor (Prime exclusive) at Amazon - $60
Buy Blink Mini (Prime exclusive) at Amazon - $30
Buy Blink Video Doorbell (Prime exclusive) at Amazon - $35

Blink cameras are affordable options for those that want some kind of security camera network keeping watch over their home. Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras share most of the same features: they record 1080p video and support infrared night vision, two-way audio, motion alerts and temperature monitoring. As the name suggests, the Blink Outdoor devices have a weather-resistant design, so you can mount them over your front door, above your garage and in any other outdoor space you want to monitor.

Arguably the best thing about Blink cameras is their wireless design. Neither the Indoor nor Outdoor devices need to be plugged in, rather they run on two AA batteries each and communicate wirelessly to the Blink Sync Module. That gives you much more freedom when it comes to placing these gadgets around your home. Plus, the batteries should last up to two years before you need to replace them.

If you'd rather try the system out before fully diving in, the Blink Mini is a good way to do that. It has all of the features the standard Blink cameras do, but it's wired rather than wireless. While that makes it a bit less versatile, it's hard to argue with a capable security camera that comes in at only $30.

As for the Video Doorbell, it combines the features of a Blink camera with smart doorbell features. Along with two-way audio and motion alert support, it'll record videos in 1080p and you can choose to hardwire it to your existing doorbell system or keep it wireless.

Get the latest Amazon Prime Day offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/amazon-discounts-blink-indoor-and-outdoor-cameras-ahead-of-prime-day-122556497.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

The Apple Watch Series 7 drops to $312 at Amazon

Amazon has brought back a great price on the Apple Watch Series 7. The 41mm blue model is on sale for $312 right now, or $87 off its normal price. That's close to the all-time-low price we've seen on the Series 7, but the best prices vary depending on your choice of color. If blue isn't your style, the midnight, starlight and green models are on sale for $329 each at the moment, too.

Buy Series 7 (41mm, blue) at Amazon - $312

The Series 7 wasn't a huge departure from the Series 6 that came before it, but Apple did make a few key updates. First and foremost, the Series 7 has more screen space, making it easier to see text and graphics. It's also the first Apple Watch that's IP6X dust resistant, so it's a bit more durable than previous models. Finally, it supports faster charging that can power up the wearable from 0 to 100 in less than an hour.

Otherwise, the Series 7 shares most of the same features with the previous edition. It has an always-on display, built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, ECG tool and blood oxygen measurement capabilities, along with things like fall detection, Emergency SOS and more. Our biggest gripe with it is that its sleep tracking abilities are a bit lackluster. It mostly tracks how long you slept the night before as well as respiration rate, but you'll get much more information from competing devices from the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and others. Nevertheless, we still consider the Apple Watch Series 7 to be the best smartwatch available right now. 

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/the-apple-watch-series-7-drops-to-312-at-amazon-124641088.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ races to its conclusion with a spot-on ‘Aliens’ riff

The following article includes significant spoilers for All Those Who Wander.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has never been ashamed to tip its hat to the stories it’s riffing upon, some more obviously than others. This week’s episode, All Those Who Wander, might as well just have been called “Screw it, we’re just going to do Aliens.” Thankfully, it’s so good that you won’t have time to care about the xeroxing from James Cameron’s 1986 original. This is the best episode of Strange New Worlds yet, raising the bar, and the stakes, for next week’s finale.

We start with the welcome and now familiar sight of the Enterprise crew hanging out around Pike’s captain’s table. It’s such a delight to see the crew spending time together and having fun, as the show puts in the hours to show that these people generally like each other. Ensign Duke gets a promotion, while cadets Chia and Uhura are given a send off as they end their tour of duty on the Enterprise. But the levity is punctured, first by Uhura still not sure if Starfleet is right for her, and second by an ominous message from headquarters. A Federation starship has gone missing while surveying an unstable planet, and Pike needs to go looking for it.

But the Enterprise already has an urgent mission to deliver power supplies to starbase K7, so Pike decides to handle a rescue mission with shuttlecraft. Dr. M’Benga, Chapel, La’an, Spock, Hemmer, Lt. Kirk and Duke, as well as cadets Uhura and Chia join him. Number One and Ortegas, meanwhile, take the ship on its original course, meaning this is the fifth or sixth episode this series where Number One has barely featured. Perhaps Rebecca Romijn negotiated far fewer filming days each week given her higher profile than the rest of the cast.

When the shuttles reach the planet, landing in the shadow of the crashed USS Peregrine, it’s not long before the episode switches into high horror. Corpses litter the ground, and the ship itself is covered in the sort of bloodstain made when someone’s trying in vain to cling to the ground while being dragged away. And despite the fact that this is another episode shot mostly on the standing Enterprise sets, clever lighting and direction make them feel altogether more like the sinister LV-426 from Aliens.

Then there’s Newt Oriana, a young girl who has learned to survive previous Gorn attacks by going partly feral. This episode, much more than the flat Memento Mori, is designed to rehabilitate the Gorn from the comedy rubber suit seen in the ‘60s and the awkward CG from the early '00s. Now, they’re the Trek version of the eponymous Xenomorph, complete with acid bile, quadrupedal motion and body horror reproductive process. Worth mentioning that this ain’t the sort of episode you can watch with your kids, especially not when the blue-shirted Cadet Chia succumbs to a chestburster.

It helps, too, that the Gorn are rarely glimpsed properly, despite some excellent creature design, the shadows are always a better way to experience a villain like this. The episode’s conclusion sees the crew taking an Alien3-style chase through corridors as they lure the Gorn to a trap. Choosing to shoot from the Gorn’s perspective helps amplify the sense of dread and tension, too, since our crew is being stalked from all corners.

But the best moments are when the crew, trapped in sickbay, start to feel the screws turning on them. La’an starts berating Oriana, the child that she sees so much of herself in before Dr. M’Benga snaps at her to leave his daughter… his patient alone. Lt. Kirk, meanwhile, starts lashing out at Spock for his lack of empathy, not long before Spock lets out his own emotions in order to entrap the Gorn. And, best of all, this all feels entirely earned and in character as we’ve gotten to see how these people got these particular scars. Finally, the promise of emotional continuity comes good as we start to see the Enterprise crew almost break under pressure.

Of course, we have to offer additional praise for Hemmer, who once again gets paired with Uhura for some grace notes. The fact that even Uhura has given them a compound name (Hemura!) speaks to how delightful it is to watch the pair interact. And when Hemmer reveals that the blob of alien spit he received earlier in the episode means he’s loaded with Gorn eggs too, it’s a massive blow. I feel like Hemmer was already a figure we’d fallen in love with, and his departure hurts, even if he gets a graceful, Alien3-esque swan dive death for a sendoff. Give Bruce Horak his own spin-off, or something, please. 

(I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed that Duke, Chia and Hemmer’s death means we’ve had a Yellow, Blue and Red-shirt demise in a single episode. Hacky standups will need to look for a better punchline to their Star Trek jokes in the future.)

Also, I feel like I’ve been neglectful in not offering enough praise for this cast, and especially Jess Bush. Bush often has to sell a whole bunch of stuff in her limited screen time and does so with ease. Here, as in The Serene Squall, she shows Chapel adapting to survive against a threat, and sells it so well.

The episode ends with plenty of fallout, Uhura decides to stay on board after Hemmer’s valediction encourages her to put down roots. La’an takes a leave of absence to try and reunite Oriana with her family, and Spock’s emotional outburst has left him scarred. Pike, meanwhile, must be headed for trouble given how freely he treats his life knowing that his future is already set in stone But again, all of this feels earned in a way that prior episodes haven’t quite achieved, and I’m excited to see how we land in the finale from here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/strange-new-worlds-109-review-130012075.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

GM is training more first responders for EV emergencies in the US and Canada

GM is training more first responders to be able to handle emergencies involving electric vehicles. The automaker is "significantly expanding" its EV First Responder Training program in the United States and Canada as electric vehicle sales continue to grow. Its initiative will primarily focus on training firefighters and equipping them with the necessary knowledge about full electric vehicle technologies. GM says it's hoping to dispel misconceptions when it comes to handling EVs in emergency situations. One of those misconceptions is that water is dangerous around EV batteries — turns out the recommended way to put out lithium-ion battery fires is by using copious amounts of water. 

Andrew Klock, a senior manager of education and development at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), said: "The best way for the public and private vehicle fleet owners to rapidly adopt EVs is to train firefighters and emergency responders on how to handle incidents involving battery powered vehicles. The fire service has had more than 100 years to gain the knowledge needed to respond to internal combustion engine fires, and it is critical that they are now educated on EV safety." The NFPA held trainings of its own that had benefited 300,000 first responders, but it believes more than 800,000 members of the community still need further training.  

GM previously piloted the program in southeast Michigan, but now it's conducting training events across Michigan and in Fort Worth, Texas, as well. Later this summer, it's bringing the program to metro New York City and Southern California. Participants will have to attend four-hour sessions, with up to two per day, held in various venues, such as fire houses and dealerships. Interested first and second responders can register through the program's dedicated website and earn a certificate from the Illinois Fire Service Institute if they score higher than 70 percent on the learning assessment by the end of their training. 

The automaker already has a few EV models on the market, including the Chevy Bolts, the GMC Hummer EV and the Cadillac Lyriq. It has huge electrification plans for the future, though, and training responders could help make potential customers more receptive to the idea of switching to electric vehicles. GM aims to launch 30 EV models by 2025 and to exclusively sell EVs ten years after that.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/gm-training-more-first-responders-ev-emergencies-130037644.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

The best smartphones you can buy right now

Choosing your next smartphone can be challenging. With so many brands offering similar features at similar prices, it can be hard to understand what device actually has the things you want. If you’ve already determined you only want an iPhone, your decision-making process is slightly easier. (And even then, Apple’s lineup offers more options than ever.) Those also considering Android will have even more options to choose from, and likely more questions. Do you want a camera that can zoom into subjects that are extremely far away, or do you want intuitive AI that can screen your incoming calls for you? Here at Engadget, we test smartphones all year round and can help you make sense of what’s available and what to look out for. And, of course, we’ve included our favorite phones to help you whittle down your shortlist.

Android or iOS?

Each OS has its pros and cons. Apple’s tight-knit ecosystem makes it super easy to share data between iPhones, iPads and Macs or seamlessly hand-off phone calls or music from one device to another. At the same time, you’re effectively locked in, as services like Apple Messages aren’t available on other platforms.

As for Android, there’s a much wider range of handsets from companies like Google, Samsung, Sony and more. However, Android phones don’t enjoy that same length of software support and often have lower trade-in values. In short, there’s no wrong answer. However, you will want to consider how your phone will fit in with the rest of your devices. So unless you’re really fed up with one OS and willing to learn another, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to switch from iOS to Android (or vice versa) – especially if everyone else in your household is using the same platform.

Cameras

Since people’s phones often pull double duty as their primary camera, figuring out what kind of photo tools you want is key. Nowadays, practically every phone can take a great picture in bright light. But if you want a long optical zoom, you’ll probably have to upgrade to a more expensive device like the S22 Ultra (which has 10x optical zoom), a Pixel 6 Pro (3x optical zoom) or an iPhone 13 Pro (3x optical zoom). (Note: The standard iPhone 13 doesn’t have a dedicated zoom lens.)

Mid-range phones often only have two rear cameras (a primary wide-angle lens and a secondary ultra-wide camera) and can sometimes struggle in low-light situations. Each phone maker also has various features that might be a better fit for your style, with Apple offering four different color presets on the iPhone 13 (warm, vibrant, cool and rich contrast), while Google’s Pixel 6 comes with neat tools like dedicated long exposure and action pan modes.

Will you get 5G or Wi-Fi 6?

The good news is that in 2022, most phones have at least 802.11ac Wi-Fi and support for one or more types of 5G connectivity. However, if you want the fastest wireless speeds you can get, it’s going to cost you a bit more. For example, on certain networks, mmWave 5G offers up to gigabit download speeds, less latency and better bandwidth. But mmWave 5G also requires more sophisticated (and pricier) modems, which means support for it is often missing from budget and mid-range handsets like the iPhone SE and Pixel 5a.

On the bright side, mmWave 5G isn’t as widely available as other versions of 5G, so depending on where you live and what network you’re on, you may not be missing out on much if you buy a phone that doesn’t support it. It’s a similar situation for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6e, which are available on a number of high-end devices, but harder to find on less expensive handsets. Wi-Fi 6 also requires you have to have a compatible router, so unless you know you need it or have a specific use case in mind, the lack of support for mmWave 5G or Wi-Fi 6E shouldn’t be a dealbreaker when looking for a new phone.

Other features to consider

Because not everyone agrees on what makes an ideal phone, you should think about any other specs that might be extra important for you. Mobile gamers will almost certainly appreciate the 120Hz refresh rates you get on phones like the Galaxy S22 or the iPhone 13 Pro. Alternatively, if long battery life is important, you’ll probably want to go with a larger iPhone or an Android phone with a battery that’s between 4,000 and 5,000 mAh in size. Meanwhile, if you find yourself juggling a lot of devices, it can be really nice to have a phone that supports reverse wireless charging, which on Samsung phones even lets you recharge the company’s Galaxy Watches.

Our picks

Best iOS smartphone: iPhone 13 Pro

Picking the best iPhone is fairly easy. Of the current lineup, the iPhone 13 Pro offers the best balance of features, size and price. It has a fast-refreshing 120Hz ProMotion screen that makes scrolling a breeze, as well as a versatile camera system and great battery life. I prefer it to the Pro Max since the latter is an absolute anvil of a phone that will probably fracture your skull if it falls on your face. And though the Pro is heavier and pricier than the regular iPhone 13, the additional camera and faster screen is worth the extra money.

All the iPhone 13s are equipped with Apple’s capable A15 Bionic chip, which provides powerful performance. If you don’t need something as high-end as the Pro, consider the iPhone SE 2022, which also uses the same chip but costs a lot less. Though I’m a fan of the iPhone 13 mini’s compact size, I can’t recommend it to anyone looking for a daily driver that will last all day; its limited battery life means you’ll need to at least charge it again in the afternoon for it to stick around till you need to order that Uber at midnight. – Cherlynn Low, Deputy Editor

Buy iPhone 13 Pro at Apple starting at $999

Best Android smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

As Samsung’s latest flagship phone and the spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note line, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has every feature power users and more mainstream shoppers could ever need. Its 10x optical zoom camera offers the longest reach you can get on a phone today, while its huge 6.8-inch 120Hz OLED screen makes everything look smooth and colorful. It also has IP68 dust and water resistance, not to mention durable Gorilla Glass Victus+ panels in front and back. And of course, there’s the built-in S-Pen, whose latency has dropped to just 2.8 milliseconds for 2022. This makes drawing, sketching and anything else you do with its stylus feel incredibly responsive. And, thanks to expanded support, Samsung’s Galaxy S will get at least four years of Android updates, which is longer than what Google has pledged for the Pixel 6. – Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter

Buy Galaxy S22 Ultra at Samsung starting at $1,199

Best midrange Android smartphone: Google Pixel 5a

If all you want is a simple, affordable and easy-to-use phone without any unnecessary bells and whistles, the Pixel 5a is the perfect choice. Starting at $459, the 5a features a colorful 6.34-inch OLED display, while Google’s excellent photo processing produces pics that match what you get from phones that cost twice as much. You also get super handy IP67 dust and water resistance, along with good performance thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. And, unlike a lot of other mid-range phones, the Pixel 5a enjoys strong software support, with Google promising regular Android and security updates until August 2024.

The main things you won't get compared to more premium handsets are a dedicated telephoto lens, wireless charging and support for mmWave 5G (though you do get sub-6GHz). It’s worth noting that the Pixel 6a is around the corner, and it’ll use Google’s own Tensor chip that uses AI to improve photography, voice recognition and Material You. We’d need to test it to see how it performs in the real world before recommending it, but if you’re not in a hurry to get a new phone, it might be wise to wait for the Pixel 6a. – S.R.

Buy Pixel 5a at Amazon - $459

Best midrange iPhone: iPhone SE (2022)

With an A15 Bionic chip and iOS 15, the latest iPhone SE is possibly the most powerful phone you can find for under $450. Sure, it has a dated design, but some folks might actually appreciate the retro look. The best thing about the iPhone SE is its home button: It’s the only new iPhone to have Touch ID. And though it only has a single rear camera, the SE still takes solid pictures. If you can get over the small, low-res screen, the iPhone SE will serve you well. It’s also really the only sub-$500 option for iOS diehards.

If you’re open to considering Android and want to spend less than $400, consider something from Samsung’s Galaxy A-series or the OnePlus Nord N20. Those looking to spend even less can check out the Moto G Power – just be prepared to compromise on features like display and cameras at lower prices. – C.L.

Buy iPhone SE at Apple starting at $429

Best camera on a smartphone: Pixel 6 Pro

It’s hard for me to leave the house without the Pixel 6 Pro. As long as there’s a chance I might want to take photos, I make sure I’ve brought Google’s latest flagship. The Pixel 6 Pro’s triple rear camera system is versatile enough to capture anything from the largest group shots or wide landscapes to faraway animals (like that time I thought I spotted a whale when staring at a distant blob from Acadia National Park). Google’s Night Sight still outperforms the competition when taking pictures in low light, too, and its computational photography delivers clear, vivid photos.

Of course, Samsung and Apple’s flagships are closing the gap, and these days there is little difference between the photos they deliver. Some people might even prefer the warmer tint on Galaxy devices. But special features like Google’s Magic Eraser and Motion effects make the Pixel 6 Pro the most fun to shoot with. Plus, I love the additional tools you get on Pixels, like Call Screening, Material You theming and Live Captions, among others. The Pixel 6 Pro has some small flaws, including a quirky in-display fingerprint sensor and some early software bugs. But if you’re willing to put up with those issues, in exchange you’ll get the best camera experience around. – C.L.

Buy Pixel 6 Pro at Amazon - $899

Best foldable smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

While you won’t find as many options for foldables in the west as you would in Asia, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is widely available in Europe and North America and remains an excellent pick regardless of market. That’s because while its starting price of $1,800 definitely ain’t cheap, the Z Fold 3 has the ability to adjust to your needs. Its exterior cover screen makes it easy to quickly check notifications or a map when you’re on the go, while its huge 7.6-inch main screen delivers a more immersive video experience than practically any other phone out right now. You can even prop the phone on a table and use it as a mini tripod/camera combo.

On top of that, its OLED panel allows the phone to serve as an excellent gadget for reading comics or books, while stylus support lets you sketch or take handwritten notes with ease. (Just remember, the Z Fold 3’s S Pens are optional extras.) And thanks to its innovative hinge, the phone can switch between modes in a snap while still offering five feet of water resistance. In a lot of ways, the Z Fold 3 is a phone, a tablet and an e-reader – all rolled into a single device. Alternatively, if you’re intrigued by flexible screens but prefer something more compact, the $1,000 Z Flip 3 offers similar tech in a smaller device at a more approachable price. – S.R

Buy Galaxy Z Fold 3 at Samsung starting at $1,799

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/best-smartphones-140004900.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

Months after launch, the DJI Mavic 3 is a much better drone

When it launched last year, the DJI Mavic 3 grabbed a lot of headlines with features like a big Four Thirds sensor and a second 7X telephoto camera. But it also drew some criticism for going on sale with key features like ActiveTrack and QuickShots still not available. That meant that I and others couldn’t assess those features in our early Mavic 3 reviews. And because of that, potential buyers couldn’t get a full picture of the drone before paying up to $5,000 for one.

Following three major firmware updates in December, January and May, all the promised functions and more are finally here. Now, I’m going to test them out using the same exact drone to see how well they work. At the same time, I’ll discuss this trend of selling products before key features are available – is this good or bad?

ActiveTrack, Quickshots and other AI features

Last year, I tested the mainstream Mavic 3 (not the Cine model) in the Fly More combo package with my drone pilot friend, Samuel Dejours. At the time, we rated it highly for things like video quality, obstacle avoidance, long battery life and more. However, the coolest AI features were nowhere to be seen.

This time, we’ve got three firmware updates, with the most recent coming from the end of May. Most of the AI features like QuickShots, ActiveTrack 5, MasterShots and others arrive in January. We’re also going to check out the “Nifty” update that arrived in May, allowing the Mavic 3 to fly closer to obstacles with a smoother trajectory.

Prior to Nifty, we tested the Mavic 3’s ActiveTrack and APAS 5.0 obstacle avoidance, and found it couldn’t keep up with the smaller and cheaper DJI Mini 3 Pro. Some of that is down to the Mini 3 Pro’s size and agility, but the Mavic 3 also seemed conservative when approaching obstacles.

In Normal mode, we found that ActiveTrack worked well as long as it didn’t have to deal with many obstacles. It usually flew at the angle and distance set, giving us stable and predictable shots. So it was already a decent tool for solo creators – but it didn’t do the things DJI showed in its Mavic 3 launch video like zipping around trees while filming a guy on a mountain bike.

With Nifty mode, though, it loses that shyness. When used with ActiveTrack, it’s willing to approach obstacles very closely while following your subject. That makes it possible to film in tricker situations and get far more dramatic shots as it passes behind, under and over impediments.

It does make things more unpredictable though, of course. You can never tell what route it’s going to take to avoid obstacles and sometimes it gets lost in the woods, literally. It will also deviate from your pre-selected path, as you’d expect, but then stay there at a new altitude or camera angle. Still, this often results in some interesting and unexpected shots.

However, the extra AI derring-do can put the Mavic 3 in harm's way, as you’re warned when you turn on Nifty mode – not ideal with a $2,000-$5,000 drone. It might be a good idea to get DJI’s $239 Care Refresh accident protection insurance if you use it frequently. An earlier release of DJI’s app warned that “you will be liable for any adverse consequences” when using the feature, but it no longer says that in the latest version.

Where Nifty is most useful is with manual piloting, we discovered. By engaging it, Samuel was able to fly in tighter spaces without the drone chickening out, while still getting basic obstacle protection. That allowed him to concentrate on the subject while the drone swooped around and passed closely by obstacles, resulting in some pretty thrilling footage.

The January update also introduced QuickShots, letting you do pre-programmed camera movements like Dronie, Helix, Rocket, Circle, Boomerang, and Asteroid. On top of that, the May update lets you shoot Log or HLG while using QuickShots, except for Asteroid mode.

These features are great for social media selfies, and actually not bad for grabbing some quick footage. For instance, if you want a perfect-looking orbit, you don’t need perfect piloting skills – just let the drone and obstacle detection do the job. Just make sure you’re in a relatively clear area.

MasterShots is a similar feature, letting you capture a series of pre-programmed moves. It then joins those shots together to create a little video set to music. It was updated in January with 4K 60 fps shooting, manual exposure adjustment and more.

Panorama offers wide-angle, 180-degree and Sphere modes, a neat but slightly cheesy feature for occasional use. Finally, the latest version of Hyperlapse does a flying time lapse with some cropping to reduce shakes and jitter. It can produce some dramatic shots, particularly for cityscapes with cloud cover and other dynamic situations. The latest version optimizes stability, making for smoother shots – but they’re not perfectly smooth if there’s a lot of wind.

Camera and GPS updates

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/dji-mavic-3-update-hands-on-video-141505594.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

Supreme Court ruling guts the EPA’s ability to enforce Clean Air Act

In yet another historic reversal of long standing precedent, the US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 6 - 3 along ideological lines to severely limit the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency in regulating carbon emissions from power plants, further hamstringing the Biden administration's ability to combat global warming. 

The case, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 20-1530, centered both on whether the Clean Air Act gives the EPA the power to issue regulations for the power industry and whether Congress must "speak with particular clarity when it authorizes executive agencies to address major political and economic questions," a theory the court refers to as the “major questions doctrine.”

In short, the court holds that only Congress, not the EPA, has the power to regulate emissions. “Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible solution to the crisis of the day,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme... A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.”

“Hard on the heels of snatching away fundamental liberties, the right-wing activist court just curtailed vital climate action,” Jason Rylander, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, responded in a press statement Thursday. “It’s a bad decision and an unnecessary one, but the EPA can still limit greenhouse gases at the source under Section 111 and more broadly through other Clean Air Act provisions. In the wake of this ruling, EPA must use its remaining authority to the fullest.”

The EPA case grew out of the Trump administration's efforts to relax carbon emission regulations from power plants, what it called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, arguing that the Clean Air Act limited the EPA's authority to enact measures "that can be put into operation at a building, structure, facility or installation." A divided three-judge appeals court struck down the rule on Trump's last full day as president, noting that it was based on a "fundamental misconstruction" of the CAA and gleaned only through a “tortured series of misreadings.” 

Had it gone into effect, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule would have replaced the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan of 2015, which would have forced the energy industry further away from coal power. The CPP never went into effect as the Supreme Court also blocked that in 2016, deciding that individual states didn't have to adhere to the rule until the EPA fielded a litany of frivolous lawsuits from conservative states and the coal industry (the single-circle Venn diagram of which being West Virginia).   

“The E.P.A. has ample discretion in carrying out its mandate,” the appeals court stated. “But it may not shirk its responsibility by imagining new limitations that the plain language of the statute does not clearly require.”   

This decision doesn't just impact the EPA's ability to do its job, from limiting emissions from specific power plants to operating the existing cap-and-trade carbon offset policy, it also hints at what other regressive steps the court's conservative majority may be planning to take. During the pandemic, the court already blocked eviction moratoriums enacted by the CDC and told OSHA that it couldn't mandate vaccination requirements for large companies. More recently, the court declared states incapable of regulating their own gun laws but absolutely good-to-go on regulating women's bodily autonomy.

“Today, the court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the minority. Kagan was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor in her dissent. 

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/supreme-court-ruling-guts-epa-ability-to-enforce-clean-air-act-145027419.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

YouTube introduces new tools to battle comment spam and account imitators

YouTube is enacting more measures in its battle to cut down on comment spam and channel impersonation. Creators now have access to a new setting for comments in YouTube Studio. They'll be able to select an "increase strictness" option. YouTube says this builds on the "hold potentially inappropriate comments for review" setting and will reduce the number of spam and identity abuse comments. It's a less strict option than requiring manual review for all comments or switching them off completely.

As of July 29th, channels won't be able to hide their subscriber counts. YouTube says this is a tactic commonly used by those pretending to be behind larger and more established channels. Impersonators often leave comments on other videos to bring people over to their fake page. For instance, someone who sees a comment left by a user named MrḂeast (with a special character in place of the "B") might click through to that channel to see it has only 100 subscribers, compared with the genuine MrBeast's 97.7 million subscribers.

YouTube acknowledged that some creators prefer to hide their subscriber count while they're building up an audience. However, it says this move will make things safer for everyone.

Speaking of phony channels that use special characters to imitate more prominent creators, that strategy will soon be a little less effective. YouTube says it's reducing the character set that people can use when updating a channel name. It said that bad actors won't be able to modify their name to ”¥ouⓉube” or some such after the change.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/youtube-comment-spam-channel-impersonators-150007960.html?src=rss

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30Jun/220

Samsung Gaming Hub goes live today with Twitch, Xbox Game Pass and more

The Samsung Gaming Hub is live now on 2022 Samsung smart TVs and smart monitors, and it's adding two services from Amazon to its game-streaming lineup: Twitch and Luna. Twitch is available today, while Luna is coming soon. Gamers will also be able to access Xbox Game Pass now, as well as apps for NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia and Utomik in the same designated area on their TVs. The company plans to release details about the gaming hub's rollout to earlier Samsung smart TV models at a later date, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to Engadget. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the Samsung Gaming Hub, it essentially offers players a way to access major cloud gaming services on their smart TV using only their Bluetooth controller, no console needed. Apps for both Spotify and YouTube are also included in the gaming hub.

Samsung says it plans on delivering even more gaming-focused content in the future, including new partnerships. “With expanding partnerships across leading game streaming services and expert curated recommendations, players will be able to easily browse and discover games from the widest selection available, regardless of platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, president of Samsung’s Service Business Team.

Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service has only been available to the general public since March, and is already available on Fire TVs. Its partnership with Samsung could give the nascent gaming service an easy way to reach people who have never used it in their homes. Twitch (which is owned by Amazon) once had an app for Samsung smart TVs, but it was retired in 2019. The platform’s return to the newest Samsung smart TVs will be happy news for streamers and their fans.

It seems natural for Samsung to further embrace the gaming community, given that smart TVs have become close to a necessity in gaming. Last year Microsoft announced that it would begin working with global TV manufacturers to directly integrate Xbox into smart TVs via an Xbox with Game Pass app. The idea of an “all-in-one” destination for all your cloud-based and console games is certainly convenient to some, and may help gamers avoid the time and hassle of switching between modes.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/twitch-amazon-luna-samsung-smart-tv-2022-gaming-hub-app-150034012.html?src=rss

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