The Morning After: Boston Dynamics’ bi-ped Atlas robot is going into retirement

Almost 11 years after Boston Dynamics revealed the Atlas humanoid robot, it’s finally being retired. The DARPA-funded robot was designed for search-and-rescue missions, but it rose to fame thanks to videos showing off its dance moves and—let’s be honest—rudimentary parkour skills.

 Atlas is trotting off into the sunset with one final YouTube video, thankfully including plenty of bloopers — which are the best parts. Boston Dynamics, of course, has more commercially successful robots in its lineup, including Spot. It’s likely not the end of the line for the company’s humanoid robots, either.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Meta’s Oversight Board will rule on AI-generated sexual images

Motorola’s Edge 50 phone series includes a wood option

Ooni reveals an even bigger pizza oven

The best foldable phones for 2024

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NASA confirms its space trash pierced Florida man’s roof

It was part of a cargo pallet the space station dropped in 2021.

Back in March, a piece of space debris hit the roof of a house in Naples, FL, ripped through two floors and (fortunately) missed the son of homeowner Alejandro Otero. On Tuesday, NASA confirmed it was a piece of equipment dumped from the International Space Station (ISS), three years ago. NASA expected the haul of discarded nickel-hydrogen batteries to orbit Earth for between two to four years, “before burning up harmlessly in the atmosphere.” Not the case.

Continue reading.

A Netflix true crime documentary may have used AI-generated images of a real person

It’s the messy hands.

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Netflix

Netflix is accused of using AI-manipulated imagery in the true crime documentary What Jennifer Did. Several photos show the usual AI issues: mangled hands and fingers, strange artifacts, curved edges that should be straight and more. If accurate, the report raises serious questions about using such images in documentaries, particularly since the person depicted is currently awaiting retrial. Netflix has yet to acknowledge the report.

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Insta360’s X4 camera is the first 8K 360-degree video

And is better than the last model in every way.

TMA
Engadget

When the X3 landed, it was a 360-degree action cam that solved a lot of the usual problems with that camera genre. With the X4, Insta360 has just… upgraded everything. The technical improvements focus on video, with the new ability to record footage at up to 8K 30 fps or 5.7k at 60 fps. Slow-mo video has been boosted up to 4K resolution, too. In short, it captures more of everything. The X4 has a 2,290mAh battery, 67 percent bigger than the X3’s. According to the press release, it should be able to capture video for up to 135 minutes. The camera is available for $500 now.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-boston-dynamics-bi-ped-atlas-robot-is-going-into-retirement-111534431.html?src=rss

Insta360’s X4 captures 8K 360-degree video

There’s a cult following for 360-degree cameras. While companies like GoPro and Ricoh continue to dabble in the category, Insta360 simply dominates it. Until today, the X3 was the ultimate 360 camera, with loads of features and shooting modes that were relatively easy to use. Insta360’s collection of selfie sticks, guards, cases and peripherals added even more cool tricks like bullet time effects and fast-zoom video effects. A few years later, we’re getting the Insta360 X4, with improvements prioritizing the fundamentals. There are higher-resolution camera sensors, a bigger battery and even more versatility, thanks to multiple resolutions and framerate options.

Insta360 X4
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

The Insta360 X4 doesn’t look hugely different from the X3. It has the same candy bar form factor, with two huge wide-angle lenses either side. It does seem more elongated, but I had no issue cramming it into my pocket during a week of testing.

The new camera has removable lens guards, which is an intelligent design improvement. Any damage or scratch to the lens will likely affect image quality, especially when it’s exposed in … adventurous settings. Previously, Insta360 offered sticky lens covers, but the X4 new lens has guards that can be twisted on and off the camera sensors. And they come included in the box, which is nice.

Both the USB-C port and battery compartment, where the microSD slot lives, are protected by solid covers with sliding locks. The Insta360 X4’s Type-C port now supports USB 3.0 speeds, arguably necessary when dealing with these higher-resolution videos and bigger files.

Insta360 X4 sample image
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

The button layout remains streamlined and familiar to anyone who’s used Insta360 cameras before. There’s a circular ‘shoot’ button (voice and gesture shooting options are built-in, too, but they’re a little less reliable), a mode switcher, a programmable Q button, and the power button. The 2.5-inch touchscreen is bigger, too, and most settings are only a few swipes away. It feels like using a smartphone, which helps make it intuitive.

However, the sheer versatility means there are a lot of menus to peruse. I never felt overwhelmed but during testing, I never quite managed to get Bullet Time and Time Shift to work anywhere near as well as I’ve seen on YouTube.

Insta360 X4
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

Newcomers can power up the X4 immediately and capture video and stills without too much struggle. Naturally, for those who know what they’re doing, this is where things get fun.

The technical improvements focus on video, with the new ability to record footage at up to 8K 30fps or 5.7k at 60fps. Slow-mo video has been boosted up to 4K resolution, too. Insta360’s Me Mode, which captures traditional ‘flat’ video (in combination with its ‘invisible’ selfie stick), has been upgraded to 4K 30fps. In short, it captures more of everything compared to its predecessor. More pixels mean more detail with 360-degree video (or any capture mode). It also ensures that when you crop down to create clips for social media, the footage doesn’t appear too low-res. Plus, Insta360 claims that stepping down to 5.7K resolution to record video will offer better performance in low light, which seemed true during my tests indoors and in the evening.

Insta360 has considered the increased processing demands of higher-resolution content. The X4 has a 2,290mAh battery, 67 percent bigger than the X3's. According to the press release, it should be able to capture video for up to 135 minutes.

While we’re focusing on the upgrades, a lot of Insta360’s best camera features are carryovers from the X3. 360-degree horizon lock keeps all your footage level regardless of how you hold the X4, and there’s still impressive image stabilization and waterproofing up to 33 feet. While the X3 fixed many of the biggest problems with capturing 360-degree video, the X4 has boosted fidelity to the point where it’s possible to capture polished footage without much effort.

The X4 is now available to order directly from Insta360, priced at $499.99. That is $100 more than its predecessor but still less than the company’s pro-level $800 camera, the One RS 1-inch 360 Edition.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/insta360-x4-release-date-price-first-impressions-130001066.html?src=rss

Insta360’s X4 captures 8K 360-degree video

There’s a cult following for 360-degree cameras. While companies like GoPro and Ricoh continue to dabble in the category, Insta360 simply dominates it. Until today, the X3 was the ultimate 360 camera, with loads of features and shooting modes that were relatively easy to use. Insta360’s collection of selfie sticks, guards, cases and peripherals added even more cool tricks like bullet time effects and fast-zoom video effects. A few years later, we’re getting the Insta360 X4, with improvements prioritizing the fundamentals. There are higher-resolution camera sensors, a bigger battery and even more versatility, thanks to multiple resolutions and framerate options.

Insta360 X4
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

The Insta360 X4 doesn’t look hugely different from the X3. It has the same candy bar form factor, with two huge wide-angle lenses either side. It does seem more elongated, but I had no issue cramming it into my pocket during a week of testing.

The new camera has removable lens guards, which is an intelligent design improvement. Any damage or scratch to the lens will likely affect image quality, especially when it’s exposed in … adventurous settings. Previously, Insta360 offered sticky lens covers, but the X4 new lens has guards that can be twisted on and off the camera sensors. And they come included in the box, which is nice.

Both the USB-C port and battery compartment, where the microSD slot lives, are protected by solid covers with sliding locks. The Insta360 X4’s Type-C port now supports USB 3.0 speeds, arguably necessary when dealing with these higher-resolution videos and bigger files.

Insta360 X4 sample image
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

The button layout remains streamlined and familiar to anyone who’s used Insta360 cameras before. There’s a circular ‘shoot’ button (voice and gesture shooting options are built-in, too, but they’re a little less reliable), a mode switcher, a programmable Q button, and the power button. The 2.5-inch touchscreen is bigger, too, and most settings are only a few swipes away. It feels like using a smartphone, which helps make it intuitive.

However, the sheer versatility means there are a lot of menus to peruse. I never felt overwhelmed but during testing, I never quite managed to get Bullet Time and Time Shift to work anywhere near as well as I’ve seen on YouTube.

Insta360 X4
Photo by Mat Smith/Engadget

Newcomers can power up the X4 immediately and capture video and stills without too much struggle. Naturally, for those who know what they’re doing, this is where things get fun.

The technical improvements focus on video, with the new ability to record footage at up to 8K 30fps or 5.7k at 60fps. Slow-mo video has been boosted up to 4K resolution, too. Insta360’s Me Mode, which captures traditional ‘flat’ video (in combination with its ‘invisible’ selfie stick), has been upgraded to 4K 30fps. In short, it captures more of everything compared to its predecessor. More pixels mean more detail with 360-degree video (or any capture mode). It also ensures that when you crop down to create clips for social media, the footage doesn’t appear too low-res. Plus, Insta360 claims that stepping down to 5.7K resolution to record video will offer better performance in low light, which seemed true during my tests indoors and in the evening.

Insta360 has considered the increased processing demands of higher-resolution content. The X4 has a 2,290mAh battery, 67 percent bigger than the X3's. According to the press release, it should be able to capture video for up to 135 minutes.

While we’re focusing on the upgrades, a lot of Insta360’s best camera features are carryovers from the X3. 360-degree horizon lock keeps all your footage level regardless of how you hold the X4, and there’s still impressive image stabilization and waterproofing up to 33 feet. While the X3 fixed many of the biggest problems with capturing 360-degree video, the X4 has boosted fidelity to the point where it’s possible to capture polished footage without much effort.

The X4 is now available to order directly from Insta360, priced at $499.99. That is $100 more than its predecessor but still less than the company’s pro-level $800 camera, the One RS 1-inch 360 Edition.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/insta360-x4-release-date-price-first-impressions-130001066.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Samsung is, once again, shipping the most phones in the world

Samsung reportedly shipped 60.1 million smartphone units worldwide in Q1, representing 20.8 percent of the global market share — and first place. Meanwhile, Apple shipped 50.1 million units for 17.3 percent of the market share. Both companies, however, saw a decrease from Q1 2023. Apple saw an almost 10 percent drop, while Samsung’s hit was less than one percent.

Apple nudged Samsung out briefly in 2023, but it’s back to business as usual. The IDC’s takeaway is that the world of smartphones is strengthening (what does that mean?), with a boost to higher-priced phones—true for both Samsung and Apple.

Xiaomi rounded out the top five brands with 40.8 million units, Transsion with 28.5 million units and OPPO with 25.2 million units shipped. Never heard of Transsion? It’s a global smartphone powerhouse based in China, responsible for phone brands including Tecno, Itel and Infinix.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Rode’s $90 MagSafe mount lets you attach pro lights and mics to your iPhone

Threads is testing real-time search results

Tesla is reportedly laying off more than 10 percent of its workforce

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Keanu Reeves’ latest iconic role is Shadow the Hedgehog

Sonic 3 gets another actor.

TMA
Sega

Keanu Reeves will play the broody, tortured Shadow the Hedgehog. The antihero, both an arch-rival and an ally to Sonic, will be created by Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik after the events of Sonic 2. Whoa.

Continue reading.

Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey

The social media app goes offline April 29.

Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey on April 29 after an interim injunction from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) against automatic data sharing with Instagram. The TCA ruled that linking Threads and Instagram without user opt-in “will lead to irreparable harm” and that Meta “abused its dominant position” in the industry with the practice. This isn’t the first regulatory battle between Meta and Turkey. Back in 2022, the country fined Meta $18.6 million for sharing data across its apps.

Continue reading.

Watch a recycling machine shake apart old hard drives

Dismantling an HDD in as little as eight seconds.

Garner Products’ DiskMantler uses a mix of shock, harmonics and vibration to shake apart a hard drive. The process loosens screws and other fasteners to free up parts like circuit boards, drive assemblies, actuators and rare-earth magnets. The process reportedly takes between eight and 90 seconds for most hard drives and around two minutes for welded helium drives. Only a fifth or so of the planet’s e-waste is recycled at the moment, so anything that can improve that share would be welcome.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-samsung-is-once-again-shipping-the-most-phones-in-the-world-111511309.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Samsung is, once again, shipping the most phones in the world

Samsung reportedly shipped 60.1 million smartphone units worldwide in Q1, representing 20.8 percent of the global market share — and first place. Meanwhile, Apple shipped 50.1 million units for 17.3 percent of the market share. Both companies, however, saw a decrease from Q1 2023. Apple saw an almost 10 percent drop, while Samsung’s hit was less than one percent.

Apple nudged Samsung out briefly in 2023, but it’s back to business as usual. The IDC’s takeaway is that the world of smartphones is strengthening (what does that mean?), with a boost to higher-priced phones—true for both Samsung and Apple.

Xiaomi rounded out the top five brands with 40.8 million units, Transsion with 28.5 million units and OPPO with 25.2 million units shipped. Never heard of Transsion? It’s a global smartphone powerhouse based in China, responsible for phone brands including Tecno, Itel and Infinix.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Rode’s $90 MagSafe mount lets you attach pro lights and mics to your iPhone

Threads is testing real-time search results

Tesla is reportedly laying off more than 10 percent of its workforce

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Keanu Reeves’ latest iconic role is Shadow the Hedgehog

Sonic 3 gets another actor.

TMA
Sega

Keanu Reeves will play the broody, tortured Shadow the Hedgehog. The antihero, both an arch-rival and an ally to Sonic, will be created by Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik after the events of Sonic 2. Whoa.

Continue reading.

Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey

The social media app goes offline April 29.

Meta is shutting down Threads in Turkey on April 29 after an interim injunction from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) against automatic data sharing with Instagram. The TCA ruled that linking Threads and Instagram without user opt-in “will lead to irreparable harm” and that Meta “abused its dominant position” in the industry with the practice. This isn’t the first regulatory battle between Meta and Turkey. Back in 2022, the country fined Meta $18.6 million for sharing data across its apps.

Continue reading.

Watch a recycling machine shake apart old hard drives

Dismantling an HDD in as little as eight seconds.

Garner Products’ DiskMantler uses a mix of shock, harmonics and vibration to shake apart a hard drive. The process loosens screws and other fasteners to free up parts like circuit boards, drive assemblies, actuators and rare-earth magnets. The process reportedly takes between eight and 90 seconds for most hard drives and around two minutes for welded helium drives. Only a fifth or so of the planet’s e-waste is recycled at the moment, so anything that can improve that share would be welcome.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-samsung-is-once-again-shipping-the-most-phones-in-the-world-111511309.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Meta crams its AI chatbot into your Instagram DMs

Instagram got a surprise visitor. Meta AI, the company’s AI-powered chatbot that can answer questions, write poetry and generate images with a simple text prompt, is up in your DMs. Meta warned that Meta AI was coming and has spent the last few months adding the chatbot to products like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. We all knew Instagram would be next.

“Our generative AI-powered experiences are under development in various phases, and we’re testing a range of them publicly in a limited capacity,” a Meta spokesperson told Engadget. For some of us at Engadget, the feature appeared in Instagram’s Direct Messaging inbox.

We could tap it to start a conversation with Meta AI, where it could give definitions of words, suggest headlines and… generate images of dogs on skateboards.

Ah, the future.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

The Humane AI Pin review

Our favorite Sony wireless earbuds are on sale for a record-low price

Interstellar is coming back to theaters in September for its 10-year anniversary

Playdate revisited: Two years later

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TCL’s first original movie is this terrible-looking AI-generated love story

Stop reading this and just watch.

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TCL

TCL, maker of many TVs, is to release its first special — a short romance movie — on TCLtv+ this summer. Minimizing effort (and artistic license), it’s using generative AI, and the result is as creepy, dreamy and blurry as all the other generative AI video we’ve seen so far. Watch the protagonists’ faces contort and blur. Marvel at the tone and color profiles switching for no apparent reason. You have to watch it: a rare laugh on a Monday morning.

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Apple claims Epic is trying to ‘micromanage’ its business

The company is asking a judge to deny Epic’s recent motion.

Last month, Epic Games filed a motion asking a California judge to hold Apple in contempt for what it claims are violations of a 2021 injunction. Now, Apple is asking the judge to reject Epic’s request, alleging the motion is an attempt to “micromanage Apple’s business operations in a way that would increase Epic’s profitability.” Epic said Apple’s “so-called compliance is a sham” and accused the company of violating the injunction with its recent moves. Apple maintains it has acted in compliance with the injunction, stating in the new filing: “The purpose of the injunction is to make information regarding alternative purchase options more readily available, not to dictate the commercial terms.”

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Google, a $1.97 trillion company, is protesting California’s plan to pay journalists

The company is temporarily removing links to California news for some.

Google, the search giant that brought in more than $73 billion in profit last year, is protesting a California bill that would require it and other platforms to pay media outlets. The company announced it was beginning a “short-term test” to block links to local California news sources for a “small percentage” of users in the state. How will this end up? Let’s take a look elsewhere.

The company pulled its News service out of Spain for seven years in protest of local copyright laws. However, in Australia, the company signed deals worth about $150 million to pay publishers. It also eventually backed off threats to pull news from search results in Canada and forked over about $74 million.

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The best laptops for both gaming and schoolwork

True work-and-play machines.

TMA
Engadget

Gaming laptops are now cheaper and more powerful than ever, and many wouldn’t look out of place in a classroom. If you aim to do some serious multimedia work alongside playing video games online, it’s worth looking at a dedicated gaming system. We select the best machines for balancing work with play, with advice on screen sizes, portability and more. Jack will no longer be a dull boy.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-meta-crams-its-ai-chatbot-into-your-instagram-dms-111512763.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Our verdict on the Humane AI Pin

A wave of AI assistant devices is finally launching, and the first is Humane’s slickly designed AI Pin. Humane calls it the “first wearable device and software platform,” a magnetic clippable wearable, with a projector, camera, mic, speakers and its own internet connection.

TMA
Engadget

Is this what replaces the smartphone? A tiny device that projects its own screen, with ostensibly no touch controls, just a voice assistant to get things done. No, not really at all.

After a while trying to make a voice-centric assistant work for her, Cherlynn Low said the AI Pin is “slow, finicky and barely even smart.” Check out her detailed review.

The Rabbit R1 will be completely different, right? Right?!

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Sony ULT Wear headphones review: Brain-shaking bass

Engadget Podcast: Does Humane’s AI Pin live up to the hype?

The best laptops

Smart rings are meant to be invisible, and that’s the problem

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Taylor Swift’s music is back on TikTok

The deal doesn’t extend to other Universal artists.

Taylor Swift’s music has returned to TikTok after a ten-week hiatus. The music left the platform after negotiations broke down between the social media app and Swift’s label, Universal Music Group. Intriguingly, the deal did not include provisions for fellow UMG artists, so Billie Eilish, The Weeknd and Drake.

Continue reading.

You can’t hide your blue tick on X anymore

X began verifying ‘influential’ users who hadn’t signed up for premium.

TMA
Anadolu via Getty Images

X will no longer allow users to hide their blue checks, regardless of whether or not they paid for premium. On Thursday, the app began notifying users that “the hide your checkmark feature of X Premium is going away soon.” X unexpectedly began adding blue checks to accounts of “influential” users with at least 2,500 followers who pay for a premium subscription. While Elon Musk suggested the change was meant to be a perk, some — including formerly verified users — were less than pleased with the presence of a blue badge, lest others suspect they actually paid for a subscription. (I would read a thesis on how Elon Musk ruined verified ticks on social media.)

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Repair your iPhones with used components

Apple’s parts pairing continues to hamper the self-repair movement.

Consumers and repair shops will soon be able to employ genuine used Apple parts to fix devices rather than having to order new components. The company claims that used parts “will now benefit from the full functionality and security afforded by the original factory calibration.” The initiative will start with the iPhone 15 this fall. As things stand, if you swap in a used screen from another iPhone for your crunchy screen, certain features, such as True Tone and automatic brightness adjustment, may not work. The upgraded self-repair program should resolve that.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-our-verdict-on-the-humane-ai-pin-111541073.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Amazon stops paying bonuses to Alexa developers

Amazon has cut paid perks for Alexa developers. With a bigger focus on generative AI, the voice assistant’s third-party apps (skills) aren’t a priority. An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that the “older programs have simply run their course, so we decided to sunset them.”

Launched in 2017, when Alexa was all the rage, the program paid developers bonuses for skills that resonated with users. It was part of Amazon’s quest to turn Alexa Skills into a booming app store. (Did that happen?)

At the company’s fall 2023 devices event, Amazon previewed its next-gen version of Alexa, with ChatGPT-like generative AI abilities. With AI powers, Alexa appeared versatile enough to address all sorts of queries and requests without creating apps and skills manually. Alexa isn’t going anywhere; Amazon is just making it think for itself.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

The Fallout TV series is V.A.T.S. (a very awesome TV show)

Physicist Peter Higgs, who predicted the God particle, has died at 94

US bill proposes AI companies list what copyrighted materials they use

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 review: The 14-inch gaming laptop to beat

ISPs roll out mandatory broadband ‘nutrition’ labels that show speeds, fees and data allowances

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Google Photos’ enhanced editing tools will no longer require a subscription

Magic Eraser, Photo UnBlur, Magic Editor and more will be widely available in May.

Free Google Photos users get enhanced editing features without paying $20+ annually. This means all users will get a few of Google’s AI-powered tools, such as Photo UnBlur, Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor. I can attest: Photo UnBlur is a game-changer when taking shots of toddlers that will. Not. Stay. Still.

Continue reading.

Knock another $74 off the Nothing Phone 2

It works on T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks.

TMA
Engadget

Amazon has the Nothing Phone 2 on sale for the first time since its launch. The offbeat mainstream smartphone alternative is $74 off its usual price, down to $625. The deal includes the version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it’s ready for activation on T-Mobile or AT&T.

Continue reading.

Vampire Survivors hits PlayStation this summer

The game is also getting Contra DLC in May.

Hit retro bullet-hell-rogue-ish Vampire Survivors is coming to PlayStation — possibly the only platform it hasn’t been on yet. The game is also getting a batch of crossover DLC on May 9. Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns brings Contra characters and weapons, so expect a lot more guns. 22 of them, in fact.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-amazon-stops-paying-bonuses-to-alexa-developers-111557415.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Amazon stops paying bonuses to Alexa developers

Amazon has cut paid perks for Alexa developers. With a bigger focus on generative AI, the voice assistant’s third-party apps (skills) aren’t a priority. An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that the “older programs have simply run their course, so we decided to sunset them.”

Launched in 2017, when Alexa was all the rage, the program paid developers bonuses for skills that resonated with users. It was part of Amazon’s quest to turn Alexa Skills into a booming app store. (Did that happen?)

At the company’s fall 2023 devices event, Amazon previewed its next-gen version of Alexa, with ChatGPT-like generative AI abilities. With AI powers, Alexa appeared versatile enough to address all sorts of queries and requests without creating apps and skills manually. Alexa isn’t going anywhere; Amazon is just making it think for itself.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

The Fallout TV series is V.A.T.S. (a very awesome TV show)

Physicist Peter Higgs, who predicted the God particle, has died at 94

US bill proposes AI companies list what copyrighted materials they use

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 review: The 14-inch gaming laptop to beat

ISPs roll out mandatory broadband ‘nutrition’ labels that show speeds, fees and data allowances

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Google Photos’ enhanced editing tools will no longer require a subscription

Magic Eraser, Photo UnBlur, Magic Editor and more will be widely available in May.

Free Google Photos users get enhanced editing features without paying $20+ annually. This means all users will get a few of Google’s AI-powered tools, such as Photo UnBlur, Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor. I can attest: Photo UnBlur is a game-changer when taking shots of toddlers that will. Not. Stay. Still.

Continue reading.

Knock another $74 off the Nothing Phone 2

It works on T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks.

TMA
Engadget

Amazon has the Nothing Phone 2 on sale for the first time since its launch. The offbeat mainstream smartphone alternative is $74 off its usual price, down to $625. The deal includes the version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it’s ready for activation on T-Mobile or AT&T.

Continue reading.

Vampire Survivors hits PlayStation this summer

The game is also getting Contra DLC in May.

Hit retro bullet-hell-rogue-ish Vampire Survivors is coming to PlayStation — possibly the only platform it hasn’t been on yet. The game is also getting a batch of crossover DLC on May 9. Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns brings Contra characters and weapons, so expect a lot more guns. 22 of them, in fact.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-amazon-stops-paying-bonuses-to-alexa-developers-111557415.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Drones that can charge on power lines

Battery life always limits a drone’s ability to perform tasks and get anywhere. So why not let it slurp from nearby power lines? (Well, there are reasons.) 

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark attached a gripper system to a Tarot 650 Sport drone, which they customized with an electric quadcopter propulsion system and an autopilot module. An inductive charger pulls current from the power line, enabling it to recharge five times over two hours during tests. The benefit here is that power lines already exist (duh), but there is the real concern that a drone could damage a line and knock out electricity for thousands.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

DJI’s RS4 gimbals make it easier to balance heavy cameras and accessories

Apple Vision Pro, two months later

Kobo’s new ereaders include its first with color displays

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

The owner of WordPress has bought Beeper, that brazen messaging app

It challenged Apple and lost almost immediately.

WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic has bought Beeper, the maker of the Beeper Mini app, which challenged Apple with iMessage tricks on Android phones, late last year. Although it ultimately lost its only USP when Apple blocked the exploit — mere days later — the incident gave the DOJ more ammunition in its antitrust suit against Apple. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Automattic paid $125 million. It’s a lot of money, especially when Automattic already owns a messaging app, Texts. No, I hadn’t heard of it either.

Continue reading.

Starlink terminals are reportedly being used by Russian forces in Ukraine

There’s a thriving black market for satellite-based internet providers.

TMA
Reuters

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Russian forces in Ukraine are using Starlink satellite internet terminals to coordinate attacks in eastern Ukraine and Crimea as well as to control drones and other forms of military tech. The Starlink hardware is reaching Russian forces via a complex network of black-market sellers. After reports in February that Russian forces were using Starlink, US House Democrats demanded Musk act, noting Russian military use of the tech is “potentially in violation of US sanctions and export controls.” Starlink can disable individual terminals.

Continue reading.

Congress looks into blocking piracy sites in the US

The Motion Picture Association will work with politicians.

The Motion Picture Association chair and CEO Charles Rivkin has revealed a plan to make “sailing the digital seas,” so streaming or downloading pirated content, harder. Rivkin said the association is going to work with Congress to establish and enforce site-blocking legislation in the United States. He added that almost 60 countries use site-blocking as a tool against piracy.

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You can now lie down while using a Meta Quest 3 headset

Finally.

Shh, relax… And strap two screens to your face.

Relaaaaax.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-drones-that-can-charge-on-power-lines-111517677.html?src=rss