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The Morning After: Tuesday, December 12th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

This Tuesday, one Engadget editor attempted to become an Instagram star. (Spoiler: without money, it's harder than you'd think.) We have the best gift ideas for the console gamer in your life. We also take issue with the FCC -- and we're not alone.


Have faith?Ataribox pre-orders start this week, without any game details

We don't have a price, release date or list of game titles for this retro console, but discounted pre-orders will start this week. Want to be first in line? Sign up on the site for an email alert and keep an eye on your inbox.


Clear as mud.Hypocrisy at the FCC and the illusion of transparency

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai trumpets "transparency" at every turn, but only the telecoms seem satisfied by his explanations.


Everything new to watch this week.What's on TV: 'Mr. Robot' and 'PUBG'

This week, it's time for the season-three finale of Mr. Robot, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds just launched in the preview program on Xbox One. You can also keep an eye out for the Okami HD remaster, Yooka-Laylee on Switch and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.


Social media stardom is harder than it looks.I tried (and failed) to become an Instagram guru

The rules are pretty simple: Set up an Instagram account and use whatever (legitimate) means to push my following as high as possible. I'll scour every how-to, every online guide, and learn from the master himself, Vaynerchuk, and it'll be a piece of cake. (Narrator voice: It was not.)


Make the right choice.The best gifts for a console gamer

If you're in the market for a new system, the Xbox One S, PlayStation VR, Nintendo Switch and 2DS XL all made it into our holiday gift guide, for different reasons. We even dug up the best accessories available, no matter which platform you prefer.


Oops.Bungie's next 'Destiny 2' update backtracks on DLC mistakes

When Bungie rolled out its "Curse of Osiris" DLC, Destiny 2 players who didn't pay up found themselves locked out of certain in-game activities. A new update rolling out today is reverting most of those changes and nerfing the Prometheus Lens weapon that has wreaked havoc in PvP.


'Red Rocks' - Dave Chappelle.Trump signs directive ordering NASA to return to the Moon

Yesterday the president signed Space Policy Directive 1, which orders NASA to lead an "innovative space exploration program" that sends astronauts to the Moon and, "eventually," Mars. The plan is to partner with aerospace companies who have already begun work on their own, but it may take years to come to fruition.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Monday, December 11th 2017

Welcome to your Monday morning news missive. An anniversary Street Fighter game that crams in 12 (vaguely) different titles, a hacked way of cranking up the sound quality on your cheap Google Home Mini and Welcome To Night Vale gets its own TV show. It's a good start.


The 30th Anniversary Collection arrives in May.
'Street Fighter' anthology brings online play to classic brawlers

Street Fighter turned 30 this year, and Capcom is marking it in -- belated -- style. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection arrives May 2018 and not only includes a bunch of pre-3D titles but also adds online multiplayer. It'll be available on the PS4, Switch, Windows PCs and the Xbox One. No Street Fighter: The Movie, the game, though. Sad.


Pump up the digital-assistant volume.
Mod gives Google's Home Mini speaker its 'missing' line-out jack

Google's Home Mini speaker has one key disadvantage over Amazon's Echo Dot: no line-out jack. If you want more powerful sound without buying a higher-priced model, you have to stream to a Chromecast-equipped speaker system. However, that didn't deter SnekTek -- the site added an aux audio port to the Mini through a clever homebrew mod. To say this required some delicate surgery would be an understatement, however.


Its research has come a long way in a short time.
Apple AI chief reveals more progress on self-driving car tech

Apple is now more than eager to share how much progress it's making on self-driving car technology. AI research director Ruslan Salakhutdinov made a presentation this week that revealed more of what the company's autonomous-driving team has been up to. While some of the talk was familiar, there were new examples of how far the fledgling project had come.

To start, Apple has crafted a system that uses onboard cameras to identify objects even in tricky situations, such as when raindrops cover the lens. It can estimate the position of a pedestrian even if they're hidden by a parked car. Other additions include giving cars direction through simultaneous localization and mapping, creating detailed 3D maps using car sensors and decision-making in urgent situations.

The bigger mystery of the project is how Apple will commercialize its self-driving know-how. At the moment, its next goal is to produce driverless employee shuttles. The company isn't currently expected to sell its own cars, but licensing its work to others would be unusual when Apple typically prefers to develop everything in-house.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend. We have some relatively normal Apple news to discuss, the most powerful GPU ever and a movie trailer that anime fans just can't miss.


Congratulations on making it a week without any emergency patches.Your regularly-scheduled Apple news

On Friday Apple said that "with the completion of Apple Park," famed designer Jony Ive is again directly leading its design managers and teams -- duties he gave up in 2015. Finally, there's a rumor from TechCrunch that a deal to buy Shazam could be announced as soon as Monday.


That price.NVIDIA's 'most powerful GPU' ever.

Meet the Titan V. Powered by NVIDIA's Volta tech, the company said is the "the world's most powerful GPU for the PC." With 110 teraflops of power (9x more than the previous Titan), this $3,000 card isn't built for gamers. Instead, it's aimed at scientists and researchers working on "AI, deep learning and high performance computing."


Really?Sony's plans for VR include 'Wipeout' and 'The Last Guardian'

At last night's PlayStation Presentation Sony had several announcements (MediEvil is coming back), but we're focusing on its VR news. Early next year the Wipeout Omega Collection will get an update for PlayStation VR, while a free VR demo for The Last Guardian is due to arrive on December 12th. There's also a 4v4 squad shooter for VR called Firewall Zero Hour.


Uncanny.James Cameron's 'Alita: Battle Angel' stars CG anime eyes

We're betting there's something you'll notice in the trailer for Alita: Battle Angel. After years of development, this Robert Rodriguez-directed anime adaptation starring Rose Salazar and Christoph Waltz will debut next year.


You don't always want to yell 'pause' to pick up a phone call.Google re-enables touch controls for audio playback on the Home Mini

A creepy glitch caused Google to disable the top button on its Home Mini speaker, but now touch playback controls are back. With a software update, owners can long-press the side buttons to play or pause audio.


How do you think he sees you when you're sleeping?Bad Password: All the cool gifts are made for spying on you

Columnist Violet Blue explains how 1984 might be hiding inside your next present.


That's one way to handle it.Bungie feeds 'Destiny 2' trolls a ridiculously overpowered gun

The randomly-dropped Prometheus Lens weapon has a glitch that's unbalancing Destiny 2 PvP. Bungie's quick answer? Make it available to everyone this weekend via its exotic weapons sales-alien Xur.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Friday, December 8th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

There's plenty of news from last night's Game Awards, plus a ride in the surprisingly tech-heavy 2018 Ford Mustang.


Everybody's pregnant.The Game Awards 2017

Last night's event was about more than just trophies (congratulations to GotY The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) -- we also got some big premieres and announcements. Think Bayonetta 3 as a Switch exclusive, and a new DLC for Zelda that's ready for you to play right now and an... interesting eight-minute trailer for Kojima's Death Stranding.


The future of technologies like AI, 5G, AR and VR.Why Qualcomm's Tech Summit mattered

During a three-day tech summit, Qualcomm showed off a new high-end mobile CPU, a USB-C audio DAC and laptops that blur the line between PCs and phones. Catch up on all you may have missed with this short video.


More brains to go with its brawn.2018 Ford Mustang GT review

While the Mustang's exterior, tire-spinning power and roar make it seem like a big dumb (but fun) animal, this pony has gotten an impressive tech upgrade.


Curious.Uber paid off a 20-year-old Florida man to destroy hacked data

The individual, whose identity Uber refuses to disclose, received $100,000 hidden as a "bug bounty" for destroying the info, which exposed the personal data of roughly 57 million customers and drivers. The ride-hailing firm then kept quiet about the breach for more than a year.


With double the maps.'PUBG' will hit v1.0 on December 20th

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is already a phenomenon in Steam Early Access, but in a couple of weeks, it'll be ready for an official release. Don't expect much to change, including the price, but there's a second map that brings its battle royale gameplay to a new desert setting.


Hot wallet.Cryptocurrency mining marketplace loses $64 million to hackers

Someone nabbed 4,700 bitcoin from the NiceHash marketplace. They were worth $64 million at the time, but with the cryptocurrency's skyrocketing exchange rate, the heist's value is now $76 million.


'tis the season.The best gifts for the PC gamer in your life

If you need headphones, a mouse, keyboard, mic, webcam or actual games, then we've got you covered.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Thursday, December 7th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone? We have important news for fans, plus a look at YouTube's top videos of 2017.


Happy New Year.'Black Mirror' season four hits Netflix on December 29th

The fourth season appears to take an even darker turn for Black Mirror, but the themes are as consistent ever. Prepare to be creeped out all over again with the new trailer.


800 million times the mass of our sun.Farthest-ever supermassive black hole reveals the early universe

Light from the Bañados quasar traveled for 13 billion years before it reached Earth.


How much will this cost?Ikea is teaming up with Sonos

Furniture retailer IKEA -- arguably the antithesis of cost and complexity -- has slowly been bringing home automation to the masses with its Home Smart range and is now turning its attention to sound products in a new collaboration with Sonos.


Fresh.Android Oreo comes to wristwear

Worried that Google had forgotten about Android Wear? It's rolling out a version of Android Oreo 8.0 made just for wearable devices, with some small tweaks like battery-saving enhancements and vibration strength settings. An update has appeared for the LG Watch Sport, while owners of other watches will want to check with their manufacturers.


Try searching for Amazon to find it.Amazon Prime Video is finally available on Apple TV

While Amazon and Google are fighting, the Prime Video app has made its Apple TV debut. Better yet, it's even available for third-gen boxes. All just in time for season two of The Grand Tour.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Wednesday, December 6th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Wednesday, where the line between phones and PCs is blurrier than ever, and we're entering a new round of Google vs. Amazon.


Thanks to mobile CPUs.'Always Connected' Windows 10 PCs have 20 hours of battery life

Late last year, Microsoft announced plans to make Windows 10 work on ARM CPUs -- usually used in phones and tablets -- and now we've seen the first real devices. The HP Envy x2 and the ASUS NovaGo both have Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chips inside, but run all your usual Windows programs. The best part is that, just like phones, they're instantly on and promise incredible battery life. Plus, AMD is getting in on the trick.


Ooops.How not to store your bitcoin

Some finicky software, a broken laptop and the skyrocketing value of bitcoin combine to make for one epic tale.


Here we go again.Google is blocking YouTube on Amazon's Echo Show and Fire TV

Amazon only recently brought YouTube back to its Echo Show, and now Google says it will block the company's devices again. Google is ticked off because Amazon isn't selling some of its hardware or making Prime Video work with Cast, putting the two at odds.We'll see who blinks first (or ever).


Yes, we know you would rather use microSD.Samsung's 512GB chip will put PC-like storage in your phone

So many podcasts.


Choose whatever carrier you like.Apple's iPhone X is available unlocked and SIM-free in the US

If you're paying $1,000 or more for a new handset, you should be able to choose your network at will, and now you can.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Tuesday, December 5th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Real Nintendo games playable on an NVIDIA set-top box? Yes -- and it's not the Switch. Also, it's time for Apple to pay up and we're seriously considering the possibility of a Quentin Tarantino-directed Star Trek. It's that kind of Tuesday morning.


We'll make it simple for you.The best Xbox One games

AAA, indie and even Kinect -- these are the ones every Xbox One owner should have in their library.


In China.Nintendo games are officially available on the NVIDIA Shield

The NVIDIA Shield just debuted in China, but this localized edition has a very special addition: downloadable (and officially licensed) versions of Nintendo GameCube and Wii games. At launch, the Shield is offering Chinese gamers their first official taste of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Punch-Out.


Money moves.Apple will start paying Ireland the billions it owes in back taxes

Both Apple and Ireland are appealing an EU decision that their sweetheart tax deal is illegal, but for now, the country is starting to collect billions in back taxes. Reportedly, Apple will begin paying the funds into an escrow account early next year. The other bad news? It can't use Apple Pay Cash -- that launched yesterday, but it's only available in the US.


Go.Google launches Android Oreo Go and Files Go!

Last night Google released both a stripped-down version of its latest OS and a new file manager app. The only Android Oreo Go devices announced so far are headed for India, but Files Go! Is ready for everyone. Now out of beta, it brings AirDrop-like offline sharing and easy cloud backups.


Meet 'Altered Carbon'Netflix's answer to 'Blade Runner' debuts in February

Take a little bit of Dollhouse then mix in a lot of Blade Runner and you've got Altered Carbon. Netflix's new sci-fi series debuts February 2nd to tell the tale of a detective digitally resurrected to investigate the murder of the world's richest man. We're intrigued.


Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.HP Omen X VR backpack review

According to Devindra Hardawar, the HP Omen X is " an ingenious gaming device." The only problem? Getting everything necessary to use one as a wearable VR gaming PC will set you back $3,500, and so far, the experience isn't worth that kind of premium over a traditional VR setup, and wireless VR headsets are on the way.


With one tiny difference.'House of Cards' will be back next year

Kevin Spacey is out, and Robin Wright will take the lead in the series' final eight episodes.


That's one way to do it.How to stream a paid UFC fight: pretend it's a video game

Twitch streamer AJ Lester streamed Saturday night's UFC 218 PPV on his channel by pretending to play the UFC 3 open beta.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Before your weekend begins it's time to make sure you have the latest iPhone and macOS updates, then check out what Elon Musk is sending to Mars next month.


It couldn't wait.Apple released iOS 11.2 last night to fix an iPhone date bug

If your iPhone won't stop resetting, there's a reason. Many iPhones running the latest version of Apple's software started having issues where local notifications (like reminders) would peg the CPU at 100 percent usage and cause a soft reset. To fix the glitch, Apple moved up its planned release of the iOS 11.2 update to... now. Along with the fix, there's also support for the Venmo-like Apple Pay Cash system and other tweaks.


Flex.Elon Musk is sending his Tesla Roadster to Mars

While confirming that SpaceX will launch its first Falcon Heavy next month, Elon Musk announced this Mars-targeted rocket will have a special payload on board: his "midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity."


FYIApple's macOS 'root' bug can reopen

The other big Apple glitch this week just won't go away. While the company did patch a High Sierra bug that could allow anyone to get admin access to your PC, there's one small problem. If you installed the patch first, then updated to the newest version of macOS (13.1), it reintroduces the vulnerability. To resolve that, just install the patch again, and make sure to reboot (it won't happen automatically).


Study up.What you need to know about net neutrality

Don't know the difference between Tier I and Tier II? Don't worry -- we're here to help.


Great for gaming, not so much for photos.Razer Phone review

Razer's first phone has long battery life and buttery smooth gaming performance. On the other hand, it also has an unimpressive camera and the screen can get washed out in sunny conditions. Check out Nicole Lee's review before you shell out $700.


Choose wisely.Which gaming console is right for you?

Here we break down the best and worst bits of the PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, Xbox One X and the Switch for anyone looking to buy into the video game universe this fall.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Friday, December 1st 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

As this week wraps up, we have updates in the Apple vs. Qualcomm squabble, plus some important news for cryptocurrency traders who use Coinbase.


Are two screens better than one?ZTE Axon M review

We don't see enough phones with exciting gimmicks, but fortunately, ZTE is trying to make the dual-screen dream happen with its new Axon. It brings a pair of 5.2-inch screens in a folding design; however, Chris Velazco wasn't too impressed with their quality. While they were great for reading with the Kindle app, they didn't make a big enough difference with video or multitasking and drove up the price on this $725 device.


Not that boring.Elon Musk's Boring Co. to bid on Chicago airport transit link

Chicago is planning a new airport link between O'Hare Airport and downtown, so naturally, Elon Musk's tunneling company wants in. A high-speed option could cut travel time from 45 minutes to just 20, but first The Boring Co. will need to get the bid.


Get your filings in order.Coinbase must share users' cryptocurrency data with the IRS

After a year-long battle, a California judge decided that Coinbase has to share information about its users with the feds. The data sharing affects every user who has bought, sold, sent or received more than $20,000 through their accounts in a single year between 2013 and 2015 -- which Coinbase estimates to be 14,355 individuals. The company will have to turn over the user's name, date of birth, address and taxpayer ID, plus records of all account activity.


Crush the 'gram.Toyota FT-AC concept

Toyota's FT-AC (Future Toyota Adventure Concept) isn't just an AWD crossover ready to go offroad -- it's also your ticket to social media stardom. That's thanks to detachable infrared cameras on the side mirrors that can upload video to the cloud via its built-in hotspot. It's just a concept, so we're unlikely to see this version on or off the streets, but it is an indicator of features Toyota is considering.


Double the fun.Google Home can now do two things at the same time

Now you can tell your smart speaker to do things like the bump the temperature in your kids' room and start playing Slayer's 'South of Heaven' in there as a lullaby.


Treat yourself (or someone else).The best TVs and media streamers to give as gifts

Unless the person on your list already owns a smart TV, media streamers are almost fool proof as far as gift ideas go, and they're reasonably affordable, too. We put several in our holiday gift guide, including the Apple TV 4K at the high end and the Roku Ultra, which is nearly half the price.

But wait, there's more...


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The Morning After: Thursday, November 30th 2017

It's a great time to update your Mac (seriously, do that ASAP), and we have a flood of car news out of the LA Auto Show.


Update immediately.
Apple fixed that nasty macOS security flaw

Within 24 hours of the world learning that getting root-level access on any Mac running High Sierra, Apple delivered a patch that closes the security hole. That doesn't change the fact that the gap happened (or that some random poster on their support forums knew about it more than a week ago), but it does mean many people have an update they need to install -- right now. We'll be here when you get back.


Who pushed that button?
Meet the Twitter contractor who turned off Donald Trump's account

Remember earlier this month when @realDonaldTrump disappeared for a few minutes? TechCrunch spoke to the person who apparently made that happen on his last day of work as a contractor. Bahtiyar Duysak has since returned to Germany but said that he worked in customer support with the Trust & Safety division when a report came in about Trump's account. He "put things in motion" for the deactivation but called it a mistake and said he didn't expect it to go through.


May contain mushrooms.
Prepare yourself for 'Super Mario' cereal

Kellogg's and Nintendo have teamed up to ensure there's no escape from its latest Mario game -- not even in the supermarket. A Super Mario cereal is coming.


More range, less roof.
BMW debuts its i8 Roadster for top-down green driving

For 2019, BMW will update its i8 line with a convertible. Under the hood, its three-engine hybrid setup (two electric, one three-cylinder turbocharged) has also been tweaked to add 12 horsepower, while maintaining the equivalent of 70MPG.


$188,400.
Porsche's 680HP hybrid is a sports car disguised as a station wagon

Once you get past the brute strength and Porsche styling, the Panamera is still an actual hybrid. It has an impressive pure-electric range of 30 miles powered by a 14.1kWh battery pack, plus a 192MPH top speed.


For many, the future of internet.
Verizon will launch 5G home internet access in 2018

Verizon's 5G wireless will soon become a reality... if not quite the way you might expect. Big Red has announced it's launching residential 5G broadband (that is, fixed-in-place wireless) in three to five markets, starting in the second half of 2018. Most details aren't nailed down at this point, but the rollout will begin in Sacramento, California.

It's no shock that Verizon is showing its cards so early. The carrier is in fierce competition with AT&T, which has also been trialing 5G and hopes to deploy it nationwide by the end of 2018.


The site will hold up to 12,000 people when it's done.
Microsoft's Redmond HQ is getting a multi-billion dollar makeover

You've seen Apple's jaw-dropping spaceship campus, and cities nationwide are lining up to be Amazon's second home, but now it's time for Microsoft to renovate. Over the next five-to-seven years, the company will construct 18 new buildings, add 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, and pump $150 million into transportation improvements and recreational facilities alone.


It actually does respond to voice commands.
Jim Beam's smart decanter will pour you a shot when you ask

In a bid for Domino's Pizza's crown for most tangential tech PR stunt, Jim Beam has announced a shot-pouring smart decanter that will answer all your questions... about bourbon.

But wait, there's more...


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