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21Oct/180

After Math: Paying more for less

$45,000: How do you get your car to run for 50 miles fewer while still paying $10,000 more than was advertised? You buy a Tesla.

$365 million: Because when you're an up-and-coming sports streaming platform trying to compete against an industry juggernaut like HBO, clearly the best strategy is to spend hundred of millions in promotional money to sign a guy who gets punched in the face for a living as part of a sport that's been continuously hemorrhaging viewers since Tyson retired. Good on you Canelo, get that money.

5 years: I'm not entirely sure when this trend of giving out homework in video games became popular but The Stanley Parable just turned in a doozy of an assignment. If you picked up the game when it came out in 2013 and then didn't touch it for half a decade, you will have unlocked the "Go Outside" achievement this week. Yeah, that's it. Congratulations for waiting five years so that a computer can mark off a virtual checkbox noting your non-participation in a completely voluntary past time.

900 percent inflation: The "pivot to video" was a lie.

100GB: Sure hope you didn't have plans to play anything else for a while after "Red Dead Redemption" comes out because it's going to be taking up a significant chunk of your PS4's hard drive.

$4,000: It's not like a little bankruptcy can keep Vertu down. The financially insoluble luxury phone maker will continue selling its underpowered and overpriced handsets until the moment the company finds its last wealthy sucker.

Multiple subs: What's better than getting all of your favorite anime shows in one place? Getting them in two places and paying double the subscription costs, according to Sony. This is why we can't have nice things.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/21/after-math-paying-more-for-less/

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21Oct/180

Audi delays E-Tron SUV by a month over software updates

Audi's E-Tron SUV has seemingly been in development for ages, but you're going to have to wait longer still to see it on the road. The automaker has delayed the electric SUV's arrival by four weeks due a "software development issue," a spokesman told Reuters. Changes to an unnamed piece of software required that Audi ask for new security clearance. It's not a dramatic delay given that the E-Tron wasn't supposed to hit dealerships until the second quarter of 2019, but it's not doing any favors to Audi or early adopters. However, it could have been worse.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/21/audi-delays-e-tron-suv-by-month-over-bugs/

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21Oct/180

Google Gboard’s floating keys make your giant phone more comfortable

Google is giving you the power to make its mobile keyboard float and to move it anywhere you want to. No need to chant Wingardium Leviosa -- it's Le-vi-O-sa, by the way -- just tap on Gboard's G icon, and you'll find the "Floating" option under its more (the three dots) menu. Android Police first reported about the feature back in September, but now it seems to be live for a lot of people. You won't find it in Gboard's change log on the Play Store, but we can confirm that we can already access it.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/21/google-gboard-floating-keyboard/

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21Oct/180

Oppo is the latest to be caught cheating on phone benchmarks

UL, however, rejected the justifications. It was clear that Oppo was looking for the benchmark by name and not the extra processing load involved, according to the outfit. Moreover, tapping wouldn't be an effective solution if Oppo treated apps equally -- you couldn't get consistent results.

Oppo did indicate that it might change. It was planning on "upgrading the system" and trying to "distinguish" between the demands of everyday apps and what users wanted. The company didn't strictly promise that it would stop cheating, however.

We've seen HTC, Huawei, Samsung and other familiar names cheat before, and there's often a herd mentality behind the decision -- we have to do it because others are doing it too. UL's move might not convince the companies to mend their ways and submit honest results, but it might negate some of the incentive to play fast and loose with the truth.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/21/oppo-caught-cheating-on-benchmarks/

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21Oct/180

Lightweight gloves help you touch virtual objects

Herbert Shea, head of EPFL's Soft Transducers Laboratory, said: "We wanted to develop a lightweight device that -- unlike existing virtual-reality gloves –- doesn't require a bulky exoskeleton, pumps or very thick cables." DextrES (probably a play on the word "dexterous") has thin elastic metal strips running over the fingers. When you touch an object in virtual reality, the system applies a voltage difference that causes the strips to stick together. That prohibits your fingers' movements, mimicking the feeling of touching an actual object.

Shea explained that the system needs very little power to work, because it blocks movement instead of creating it. That's why the researchers are positive that they can use a very small battery for the gloves in the future. They're also hoping that they can scale up the technology for other applications, such as for training surgeons in augmented reality.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/lightweight-vr-gloves/

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21Oct/180

Google Assistant may soon have a web app for lists and notes

It's not clear if or when Google might put this app into service. Any such move might leave people scratching their head -- if you already use Google Keep or Google Tasks, why switch to this? While it might be there to accommodate people who don't want stand-alone apps, it could seem redundant if you're already deep in the Google ecosystem.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/google-assistant-lists-and-notes-web-app/

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21Oct/180

Tesla’s future ‘dog mode’ would prevent humans from panicking

Tesla already has a feature to prevent its electric car interiors from overheating. Not everyone knows that, though, and that's a problem when people may call the cops or break into your ride to rescue a pet that's actually quite safe. You might not have to post a please-don't-worry sign on your window for much longer, however. Elon Musk has signaled that he'll implement a "dog mode" in future Tesla software that would tell passers-by not to panic. While he only just agreed to the idea (it's likely a long way off), it could include both a message and the current cabin temperature to assuage jittery humans.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/tesla-dog-mode-plans/

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21Oct/180

Watch the visual effects for ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ come to life

One of the most entertaining aspects of Ant-Man and The Wasp was how the film played with the characters' shrinking and growing powers. Marvel obviously relied on CGI to turn that building into a roller suitcase and that Helly Kitty pez dispenser into a massive weapon, but we could only guess how much of each scene was real and how much were visual effects. Now, Rodeo, the VFX company behind all those fun scenes, have given us a glimpse into how they were shot and which parts of the set had to be covered in green screen.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/visual-effects-ant-man-and-the-wasp/

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21Oct/180

Facebook carried ads from mysterious pro-Brexit group for months

While Facebook might be making strides in clamping down on fake news and shady political ads, there appear to have been holes in its strategy. The UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee has published data showing that Facebook carried ads for a "hard Brexit" (that is, a UK exit from the European Union with few if any deals) from a mysterious organization, Mainstream Network, for 10 months. There's no clear indication as to who's behind the group, but it had a wide reach -- the £257,000 it spent (about $336,000) helped it reach up to 11 million people across the country.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/facebook-ran-ads-from-mysterious-brexit-group/

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21Oct/180

Tougher emissions rules helped cut US air pollution deaths in half

The researchers primarily attributed the reduced deaths to tougher federal regulations over the period, particularly the Clean Air Act and the 2002 NOx State Implementations Call. They also singled out rules specifically targeting vehicle emissions. These policy changes had enough impact to overcome surges in population, electricity demand and commute lengths, the researchers said.

The team suggested that further improvements, such as the 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, have likely contributed to further improvements since 2010. They intended to study pollution-related deaths since 2010 using other forms of data.

Whether or not pollution levels keep falling is another story. The researchers are concerned the current US government's anti-science stance and deregulatory policies may slow or even reverse progress on air quality. At the same time, technology isn't standing still. Increased adoption of clean energy, electric cars and hybrid vehicles could help, as could reduced car ownership.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/20/tougher-emissions-rules-helped-cut-us-air-pollution-deaths/

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