Phillips’s new pendant lights are 3D-printed from recycled fishing nets and delivered in 8 days

Designed by the Signify Global Design Team, the Philips MyCreation droplet pendant lamp is a unique product that combines sustainability and beauty. Hanging from the ceiling with an aesthetic that’s equal parts modern and rustic, the lamp employs 3D-printing processes, which give it its shape and texture. The lamp’s raw material, however, comes from recycled fishing nets, gathered directly from harbors on the Cornish coast. Made locally and manufactured on-demand, each lamp explores a variety of coastal-inspired texture styles and comes with a gradual gradient that goes from turquoise to a light lemon yellow, creating a beautiful hue in the process that’s only further accentuated by the irregularities in its design created by the 3D printer.

Designer: Signify Global Design Team

The recycled nature of the lamp’s material lends a level of unburnished imperfection to it, making it unique. The material and the 3D-printing technique create their own minor irregularities that help give the lamp its bespoke appeal. When the light inside it is switched on, these imperfections take on a character of their own, making the lamp look much more beautiful than something polished and mass-manufactured.

The lamps’ designs borrow from their marine origins too, with patterns that pay homage to the sea. The cross-hatched design (shown below) is reminiscent of the fishnet, while the wavy pattern (above) references the ripples seen in the sand at the bottom of an ocean-based on water currents. Each lamp is made to order and takes roughly 8 days to be printed and delivered. Aside from being recycled, the lamps are further recyclable too, allowing the plastic to be reused in a variety of other formats.

The Phillips MyCreation Drop Pendant Light is a Gold winner of the International Design Excellence Awards for the year 2022.

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Rode’s first headset is aimed at creators and gamers

Rode only dipped into headphones last year, but now it's ready to unveil its first headset — and this time it's courting gamers in addition to creatives. The NTH-100M takes the familiar design of the NTH-100 but adds a detachable condenser microphone. It's too early to say if the hardware is truly "broadcast-grade," as Rode claims, but the company's reputation for mics bodes well if you want quality audio when you're chatting with teammates or hosting a livestream. You can even buy the boom mic separately (as the NTH-Mic) if you already have the headphones.

The design will otherwise seem familiar. Rode claims the 40mm dynamic drivers are designed for accurate frequency response with minimal distortion. The NTH-100M might be your pick if you want a neutral sound for editing podcasts and videos. You won't get perks like noise cancellation or Bluetooth, but the headset will be surprisingly comfortable. When we tried the NTH-100, we found the cooling gel and other design touches to help for extended listening sessions.

The NTH-100M will retail for $189 which is $50 more than the headphones it's based on. If you already have the NTH-100, you can snag the NTH-Mic separetely for $69. This means if you were holding out and can make use of the mic, the combo deal represents a $20 saving. Or, for that matter, you could always buy the base 100 for listening and upgrade when you're ready to create content.

The NTH-100M is also a unique product in Rode's lineup. While it's not part of the company's Rode X gaming brand, it's clearly aimed as much at gamers and Twitch streamers as it is musicians and podcasters. In that sense, it straddles the line between consumer and creative in a way that even the headphones didn't quite manage.

‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’ is delayed to April 28th

Star Wars fans will need to wait an extra month and a half to play the next chapter of Cal Kestis' story. On Tuesday afternoon, Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment announced the delay of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to April 28th. The game was previously slated to arrive on March 17th

"In order for the team to hit the Respawn quality bar, provide the team the time they need, and achieve the level of polish our fans deserve, we have added six crucial weeks to our release schedule — Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will now launch globally on April 28th," Respawn posted on Twitter. The studio said it would use the extra time to fix bugs and polish the game to improve performance, stability and the player experience. The delay means Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will arrive on the same day as Dead Island 2, provided that title doesn't suffer a last-minute delay.   

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up five years after the events of Fallen Order, and features an older, harder Cal Kestis. Respawn has promised the game will feature new worlds in the Star Wars galaxy for players to explore. Cal, now a Jedi Knight, also has new skills and weapons in his arsenal to take on the Galactic Empire.   

These two new large underground parking facilities in Amsterdam are designed to accomodate 11,000 bikes

The beautiful city of Amsterdam is known for its love of cycling, and almost everyone commutes almost all the time by bike. As fun and eco-friendly as cycling can be, parking your bicycles is a whole other issue, especially in a city as dynamic as Amsterdam. The city is known for being crowded with parked bikes, and the parking space never seems to be enough. In such an environment, the city of Amsterdam recently unveiled two massive bike parking spaces which are – underground!

Designer: Amsterdam City

Called ‘Stationsplein’ and ‘IJboulevard’, the two new stations are located next to Central Station, and can hold up to 11,000 bikes. This allows a lot of the space on the streets to be freed up. Stationsplein has been built under the Open Havenfront. It is a water body between the Prins Hendrikkade and the Stationseiland. The Stationsplein is currently the largest biking shed in Amsterdam, and it was opened to the public on January 28th, 2023. The garage can accommodate up to 7000 bikes and is well-connected to the Metro Hall, and the Amsterdam Central Station. On the other hand, the IJboulevard parking facility is located behind the Central Station, and it will open in February 2023.

These underwater bike sheds are truly a boon to the city of Amsterdam, as they are already providing plenty of ample parking space for the citizens. It allows pedestrians to park their bikes around the city’s main train station. It’s only been a couple of days since the first bike shed opened, but already the bike racks on the street look less cluttered, and the steady chunk of parked bicycles seems to have reduced. The area around the train station seems to be tidier and much more organized.

Larger pedestrian and bicycle paths have been built along with the two underground parking facilities. Streetcar stops and tracks have been replaced, and new underground cables and pipes have been added as well. “The opening of the new parking facilities marks the beginning of a new era, in which Amsterdam Central Station will be somewhat like it was around 1900. Accessible and pleasant, without cars and bicycles parked everywhere and nowhere. We are in good shape with the opening of the 2 new bicycle parking facilities, but we expect that there will be a greater need for bicycle parking spaces around the station. That is why we have already started preparations for even more parking spaces for bicycles,” said the Amsterdam representatives on the City’s official website.

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OpenAI’s new tool may help you identify text written by ChatGPT

OpenAI has released a tool to help you determine whether text was more likely written by a human or AI. However, the ChatGPT maker warns that its equivalent of Blade Runner’s Voight-Kampff test can also get it wrong.

The tool includes a box where you can paste text that’s at least 1,000 characters long. It will then spit out a verdict, like “The classifier considers the text to be very unlikely AI-generated” or “The classifier considers the text to be possibly AI-generated.”

I tested it by prompting ChatGPT to write an essay about the migratory patterns of birds, which the detection tool then described as “possibly AI-generated.” Meanwhile, it rated several human-written articles as “very unlikely AI-generated.” So although the tool could raise false flags in either direction, my (tiny sample size) test suggests at least a degree of accuracy. Still, OpenAI cautions not to use the tool alone to determine content’s authenticity; it also works best with text of 1,000 words or longer.

The startup has faced pressure from educators after the November release of its ChatGPT tool, which produces AI-written content that can sometimes pass for human writing. The natural-language model can create essays in seconds based on simple text prompts — even passing a graduate business and law exam — while providing students with a tempting new cheating opportunity. As a result, New York public schools banned the bot from their WiFi networks and school devices.

Screenshot of a box with AI-produced text on an OpenAI website that tries to determine if text was written by ChatGPT. The result states it is “possibly AI-generated.”

While ChatGPT’s arrival has been a buzzed-about topic of late, even extending into media outlets eager to automate SEO-friendly articles, the bot is big business for OpenAI. The company reportedly secured a $10 billion investment earlier this month from Microsoft, which plans to integrate it into Bing and Office 365. OpenAI allegedly discussed selling shares at a $29 billion valuation late last year, which would make it one of the most valuable US startups.

Although ChatGPT is currently the best publicly available natural language AI model, Google, Baidu and others are working on competitors. Google’s LaMDA is convincing enough that one former researcher threw away his job with the search giant last year by claiming the chatbot is sentient. (The human tendency to project feelings and consciousness onto algorithms is a concept we’ll likely hear much about in the coming years.) Google has only released extremely constricted versions of its chatbot in a beta, presumably out of ethical concerns. With the genie out of the bottle, it will be interesting to see how long that restraint lasts.

PayPal is laying off 2,000 employees

PayPal is about to become the latest tech company to lay off a substantial part of its workforce. The payments firm announced Tuesday plans to cut approximately 2,000 employees, a number that equates to about seven percent of its total staff. According to PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman, the layoffs will occur over the next few weeks, with some parts of the company affected more than others.

“We will treat our departing colleagues with the utmost respect and empathy, provide them with generous packages, engage in consultation where required and support them with their transitions,” Schulman said. “I want to express my personal appreciation for the meaningful contributions they have made to PayPal.”

The company joins a growing list of tech companies that have announced layoffs in recent months. Earlier this month, Google disclosed plans to lay off 12,000 employees, or about around six percent of its global workforce. Before that, Microsoft said it would cut 10,000 jobs. Schulman, like his counterparts at Microsoft, Google and other tech firms, blamed PayPal's layoffs on the “challenging macro-economic environment” the company finds itself in recently. “While we have made substantial progress in right-sizing our cost structure, and focused our resources on our core strategic priorities, we have more work to do,” he said.

It’s worth noting the US economy has not entered into a recession yet. At 3.5 percent, the national unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and the gross domestic product grew over the last quarters. Turning specifically to PayPal, the company beat Wall Street expectations during its most recent earnings call, with revenue and income increasing by 11 percent and 7 percent year on year, respectively.

Twitter is killing off co-authored tweets after less than a year

Twitter has quietly killed off a feature that allowed users to publish co-authored tweets. The company enabled CoTweets on "select" accounts last July in the US, Canada and Korea, but the feature never made it beyond the experimental stage. As of today, you'll no longer be able to post CoTweets.

"We’re sad to say that the current experiment is coming to an end," Twitter wrote on an updated support page. "Already existing CoTweets will be viewable for one more month at which point they will revert to retweets." 

If you invited someone to CoTweet with you, that tweet will remain on your account, according to Mashable. For those who were invited to co-author a tweet, CoTweets will soon appear as retweets from the other person's account. All clear on that? Swell.

This may not completely be the end of CoTweets. "We’re still looking for ways to implement this feature moving forward," Twitter said. So, it could return at some point.

It's unlikely to be high on Twitter's list of priorities, however, particularly given that some 80 percent of employees have left the company since Elon Musk took over in late October. A recent report suggested Twitter now has fewer than 550 full-time engineers, who may have their hands full with other things.

343 is reportedly ‘starting from scratch’ on Halo development after layoffs

343 Industries and Halo may be here to stay despite Microsoft's mass layoffs, but that doesn't mean it's business as usual for the franchise. Bloombergsources claim 343 is effectively restarting Halo development between multiple changes that include the loss of "at least" 95 jobs, including directors and key contractors. Notably, the studio is reportedly switching to Epic's Unreal Engine after both a leadership shuffle and struggling with its aging in-house platform (Slipspace) — it's even breaking from its familiar story-driven gameplay, according to the tipsters.

The 343 team is understood to be using Unreal for an unannounced game, nicknamed "Tatanka," developed with the help of long-time ally Certain Affinity. It was originally built as a battle royale title but might "evolve" into other forms, the sources say. While some at 343 are supposedly worried Unreal might affect how Halo feels to play, Slipspace's glitches and hard-to-use tech have apparently held back multiplayer features in Halo Infinite that include past favorites like Assault and Extraction.

Many of the laid off workers were crafting game prototypes in Unreal rather than producing new missions for Halo Infinite, Bloomberg says. 343 had considered switching engines for the past decade, the insiders claim, but it wasn't until studio lead Bonnie Ross and engine overseer David Berger left in late 2022 that the company committed to the change. Pierre Hintze, who replaced Ross, is said to have focused the company on "greenlighting" new tech while expanding Infinite.

Microsoft has declined to comment. A revamped strategy wouldn't be surprising even without layoffs. While Infinite was well-received on launch, delayed modes, seasons and even a cancelled split-screen mode haven't helped its reputation. 343 has also played a role in some of the Halo series' less-than-stellar projects, including the problematic Halo: Master Chief Collection and offshoots like Halo Wars 2. A fresh start isn't guaranteed to reinvigorate the sci-fi shooter, but it may address lingering concerns.

This emergency response kickscooter solves inaccessibility issues faced by ambulance in critical situations

While you won’t imagine any other use of a kick scooter than casual commuting or fun for the kiddos, realms of the concept design world have other ideas.

To cut it short, using kick scooter as a medical emergency responders’ first line of contact with the injured person for the quickest response possible. Quite a valid idea in case of emergencies that occur in places where a four-wheeled ambulance or even two-wheelers cannot reach. For instance; multistorey buildings, crowded malls, shopping centers, or airports.

Designer: Ulises Varela, Sofia Caruso and Ezequiel Garelli

Every passing by minute means a high risk of fatality to the patient and that’s what the Inmed emergency medical scooter aims to tend to. This two-wheeler is stationed inside highly crowded places for the quickest emergency response until the time ambulance or a doctor arrives. The paramedics can utilize Inmed loaded with the vital emergency kit to reach within minutes of any mishap. The scooter has medical items like alcohol, gauze, scissors, gloves, and more to give first aid.

If you notice closely, the kick scooter has a stable platform with a place to keep the feet parallel, well balanced apart. This is a vital design revamp since in the rush of the movement, the respondent can go off balance. Also, it means better maneuverability to keep up the required pace in tight situations. The kick scooter is loaded with a 450-watt motor inside the front wheel which is fed by the 36V battery. This lends the vehicle a total range of 20 km on a single charge.

Inmed is loaded with a 4-inch touchscreen with all the required functions. On activating the emergency protocol function, the GSP shows the shortest possible route to reach the patient. It displays the battery percentage, current speed, total distance traveled and ambient temperature. To alarm other motorists, the vehicle projects two separate beams of light from the handlebars. The visual design of the emergency kick scooter lets bystanders make way to prevent any delays.

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Peacock stops offering its free tier to new subscribers

Peacock has stopped offerings its free tier to new customers. As first reported by The Streamable, potential subscribers who visit Peacock’s website will now only see two ways to access the platform: Peacock Premium and Premium Plus. Either way, if you’re new to Peacock, you’ll need to pay to access the service’s library of content. The free tier still exists but is only available to current users who cancel their Premium subscription or those who had access to one of the paid tiers for free — for example, Cox internet customers. 

A Peacock spokesperson told Engadget the move is reflective of a strategy shift within NBCUniversal. The company believes Peacock's paid tiers are the best way to experience what the service has to offer. By the end of the year, Peacock Premium will offer more than 100,000 hours of content for subscribers to watch, including live sports content from the Premier League and Women’s World Cup, as well as next-day streaming of Bravo shows and originals like Bel-Air. The platform’s subscriber total grew to 20 million in 2022, up from 9 million the year before. However, Peacock has yet to generate a profit for NBCUniversal owner Comcast. The company expects the service to start inching toward profitability in 2024. Presumably, it hopes to accelerate that timeline by doubling down on Peacock's Premium tiers. 

To make up for the removal, Peacock is offering a promotion to new subscribers. You can get an annual subscription to the ad-supported Premium tier for $30, down from $50 normally. 

Update 5:45PM ET: Added context from NBCUniversal.