What to expect from the PlayStation 5

It’s that time again in the console generation. Your games look better than ever, but you’re starting to notice stutters and glitches a little more frequently, and you’re wondering when the console that’s sat under your TV for the past five years might benefit from an upgrade.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/19/18231205/sony-ps5-playstation-5-rumors-specs-games

Google teases a big gaming announcement for March 19th

Google isn’t normally the sort to break news at big video game events, but it’s making an exception to that rule this year.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/19/google-will-unveil-gaming-project-at-gdc/

Netflix has an all-star cast for ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ animated series

Netflix would really like for you to try some Green Eggs and Ham. The company has secured the rights to the classic Dr. Seuss tale and is turning it into a star-studded animated series that will be packed with familiar voices.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/19/dr-seuss-green-eggs-and-ham-netflix-series/

Should you invest in a mesh network or range extender for your home Wi-Fi network?

Google’s mesh network is fast, easy to set up, and very easy to expand, making it an excellent choice for your first mesh network. With a mesh network, you can blanket coverage all around your house but you will need to find a home for them first. Plus, setting one up can be expensive.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.windowscentral.com/should-you-invest-mesh-network-or-range-extender-your-home-wi-fi-network

16 States Sue Over Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

The complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeks to bar the administration from using emergency powers to divert money from other programs to a wall on the U.S.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.npr.org/2019/02/18/695821740/16-states-sue-over-trumps-national-emergency-declaration

Tune in to our Galaxy S10 liveblog tomorrow at 2PM ET!

It’s hard to believe sometimes, but Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones have been around for nearly a decade — no wonder the company’s trying something a little different for the launch of its new Galaxy S10s.

Continue Reading . . . https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/19/samsung-galaxy-s10-10-plus-liveblog-teaser/

How to Move Your Lightroom Library to an External Drive

Many photographers put their pictures on their computer’s internal hard drive. This can be a great solution since even laptops now have fairly generous storage options compared to their counterparts in days gone by.

Continue Reading . . . https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-move-your-lightroom-library-to-an-external-drive/

What we’re listening to in February

What we’re listening to in February

Senior News Editor Billy Steele confesses his love for the Album of the Year while Managing Editor Terrence O’Brien explains why Punch Up the Jam should be in your podcast rotation. Community Content Editor Amber Bouman also breaks down the thrilling fictional true crime podcast Limetown.

Kacey Musgraves Golden Hour

Billy Steele

Billy Steele
Senior News Editor

Most country music these days is terrible. I make this statement as someone who grew up on a steady diet of country and bluegrass. I have autographed pictures of Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus from when I was a kid. “Dust on the Bottle” is still a great song. However, I can easily avoid country radio these days because it’s just… not good.

Kacey Musgraves is one of the few exceptions. My introduction to her soothing voice was 2015’s Pageant Material (which is also a great album) so when singles for Golden Hour started to debut, I was already hooked.

Golden Hour is definitely a country album, but you won’t hear a lot of driving banjo, fiddle or pedal steel. Instead, you get what Musgraves calls “galactic country.” There’s texture and airy openness to these songs that obviously know their roots, but also bring in elements of pop, jazz and more. Spin described Golden Hour this way:At times it recalls the aquatic haze of Madonna’s Ray of Light, and at others the open-highway rumbling of the War on Drugs,” Jordan Sargent wrote back in March 2018.

I call it a breath of fresh air at a time when country music badly needs one.

Standout tracks for me include “Slow Burn,” “Oh, What a World” and “Space Cowboy,” but Golden Hour is truly a complete record. It’s an enjoyable listen from start to finish. The album ends with “Rainbow,” the song Musgraves performed at the Grammys. It’s an uplifting ballad of hope, and a song that resonates with me in the uncertainty of 2019. Some may think it’s odd to end a record with such a slow, low-key song, but I disagree. After a dozen songs about love, break-ups and self-doubt, “Rainbow” is like a parting wish — right down to the last line: “It will all be alright.” There’s a soothing optimism there I think we can all use a little of these days.

Punch Up the Jam

Terrence O'Brien

Terrence O’Brien
Managing Editor

Frankly, there was nothing about Punch Up the Jam to suggest I’d love it as much as I do.

Sure I like comedy and over analyzing pop songs (who doesn’t?), but each episode culminates in a musical parody. And, let’s be honest with ourselves, spoof songs are hard to pull off — there can only be one Weird Al. It’s not like I was super familiar with the hosts either. Demi Adejuyigbe is a comedy writer best known as one of the hosts of The Gilmore Guys podcast (and I loathe the Gilmore Girls with every fiber of my being) and Miel Bredouw made a name for herself as a comedian on Vine before transitioning to YouTube.

But, I’ve been on a bit of a music analysis kick recently and decided to give it a shot, hoping that it would be satisfy a similar itch as Dissect and Switched On Pop, but maybe make me laugh along the way. The first few episodes were a little rough, but I’m glad I stuck it out, because it’s currently one of my favorite podcasts. The episode about “Jesse’s Girl” is an early highlight, but the show really hits its stride with Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy.”

In each episode the duo, and more often than not a guest, break down a popular song, pointing out its most ridiculous elements and shortcomings. (Trust me, you’ll never heard “Friday I’m in Love” the same way after you’ve heard the isolated vocal.) They spend about an hour pouring over every tiny detail from the lyrics and melody to the production choices until there’s nothing left to dissect. Then they debut a punch of the song which is ostensibly an improved version, but is really just a gag. For example, after realizing that “What’s Your Fantasy” is really just a list of places Luda would like have sex, the song becomes an ode to exhibitionism. And “Jesse’s Girl” is all about what a weird obsessive creep Rick Springfield is.

Demi and Miel have incredible chemistry, which is one of the most important requirements for a successful podcast. But they’re also incredibly funny and have already developed a community rife with in-jokes and references. And most impressively they’ve done it all in under a year. And as the show has steadily gained traction the guests have gotten bigger (Eliot Glazer, Jon Gabrus and Paul F. Tompkins have all be on the show) and the production value of the “punch ups” has improved.

But more importantly, the punch ups just keep getting funnier and funnier as both Demi and Miel have found their voices. They’re easily the closest thing we have to a new Weird Al.

Limetown

Amber Bouman

Amber Bouman
Community Content Editor

A company town in rural Tennessee. A vague biomedical goal to “gain a full understanding of the human brain.” And a catastrophic event that resulted in the disappearance of 327 men, women and children. This is the mystery at the center of Limetown, a fictional podcast that follows APR investigative journalist Lia Haddock as she attempts to uncover the facts about what happened during “the Panic” ten years before.

Limetown uses many of the same techniques employed by non-fiction podcasts to provide the listener with background information: fuzzy 911 calls, clips of international newscasters reporting on the event, recorded phone calls and interviews with locals and law enforcement. But this also lends an air of credibility to the story that makes it feel a bit more real than say, the ghost stories of the Moonlit Road Podcast. As Haddock gives descriptions of her surroundings and environment, and the characters she interviews, she sounds much like the narrators of non-fiction podcasts like S-Town or Serial.

However, Limetown also excels in using background noises and scores to keep the listener in a heightened feeling of suspense. Eerie music you’d expect to hear on a Halloween CD lurks in the background, causing even typical folly sounds like footsteps or doors shutting to make you feel vaguely uneasy. Many of the episodes end with cliffhangers, which helps keep a steady amount of anticipation in the listener.

I, admittedly, consume a pretty steady diet of creepy media from true crime podcasts and horror movies to dark graphic novels and conspiracy websites but Limetown was one of the first podcasts to make me reconsider listening to it in the dark. On my walk home. Alone. Some of the events that Haddock experiences in the course of investigating Limetown put chills down my spine and had me jumping at small noises. But I’m also really impressed by the way the podcast pulls me into the story, teasing out details in each episode and giving just enough information to keep me (rather desperately) wondering what in the hell actually happened. What can I say, a mystery wrapped up in a conspiracy that involves creepy experiments? That is all kinds of in my wheelhouse.

I’m not alone in this either — two months after its July 2015 release, season one of Limetown was the number one US podcast on iTunes. Season two was released in late 2018, around the same time that Facebook announced a 10-episode series starring Jessica Biel and roughly the same time that Simon & Schuster released a prequel book. There’s also a Reddit fan page that I’m currently avoiding to prevent spoilers for season two, but it apparently contains some theories that are just as spooky as the podcast itself. With only 11 full episodes (and 8 teaser episodes of roughly 1-9 minutes), it’s easy to tear through both seasons. Just maybe leave a light on.

Engadget is the original home for technology news and reviews. Since our founding in 2004, we’ve grown from an exhaustive source for consumer tech news to a global multimedia organization covering the intersection of technology, gaming and entertainment. Today, Engadget hosts the archives and expertise of early digital publishing players like Joystiq, TUAW and gdgt, and produces the Internet’s most compelling videos, reviews, features and breaking news about the people, products and ideas shaping our world. After 14 years in the game, we’re leveraging our history to bring the future into focus.

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Sharp’s latest RoBoHon robot can’t walk, but hey it’s only $715

Sharp’s latest RoBoHon robot can’t walk, but hey it’s only $715

The cute Japanese robots keep coming. Sony’s adorable Aibo pups are already on to their sixth litter and now Sharp is upgrading its RoBoHon line, too. In case you need reminding, that’s the robot smartphone that — like all good droids — can sing and dance. Along with pricey LTE and WiFi-only models, the second-gen RoBoHon range includes a cheaper “seated” bot that costs 79,000 yen plus tax (around $715). Of course, that means it can’t walk, but it will still be able to bust-a-move to certain songs using the top half of its body. Users can also manually move its legs to make it stand upright.

Gallery: Sharp’s new RoBoHon robot range | 11 Photos

The robot’s smartphone core allows it to carry out a range of tasks, from snapping and sharing images to (soon) controlling smart home appliances like Sharp’s Aquos Android TVs and air conditioners. The company also encourages users, including children, to program its speech and movements using the on-board apps, of which there are currently 30 (with room for up to 46 apps in the future). Overall, Sharp boasts improved reactions and response times.

For businesses, the company is promising a feature that allows RoBoHon to offer guidance about products and exhibits in stores, showrooms, and museums. Another app will transform it into a receptionist with multi-lingual skills including Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, according to The Japan Times.

Specs-wise, the smartphone part is still nothing to shout about, even though it’s been bumped up from Android 5.0 to Android 8.1 and now packs a slightly larger 2.6-inch display (up from 2-inches on the original). It also benefits from a Snapdragon 430 chipset, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. The pico projector, however, has been axed.

The RoBoHon LTE model costs 180,000 yen minus tax (roughly $1,628) while the Wi-Fi model will set you back 120,000 yen excluding tax ($1,085). Add to that the 980 yen (around $9) monthly subscription fee Sharp is demanding and it’s far from a cheap buy. But if you’ve got cash to burn, all three bots are available to pre-order today and will be released on February 27th.

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Fox delays ‘Cosmos’ season 2 premiere over misconduct investigation

Fox delays ‘Cosmos’ season 2 premiere over misconduct investigation


Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Fox’s investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Neil deGrasse Tyson has led to a change of schedule for Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The company has quietly removed the show’s season 2 premiere from its March 3 schedule, indicating that it’s waiting on the results of the investigation before making a decision on airing the science program. There’s no official update on the investigation so far.

National Geographic didn’t wait to take at least some action, pulling Tyson’s StarTalk show from the air soon after the initial claims emerged.

The investigation started when two women, Dr. Katelyn Allers and former assistant Ashley Watson, alleged that Tyson made unwanted gestures that included groping and sexual overtures. It also followed a 2014 accusation from Tchiya Amet that Tyson had raped her when they were both graduate students. Tyson said that he recalled the first two incidents differently, apologized to Watson for his behavior, and flatly denied Amet’s claim.

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PlayStation Now still isn’t good enough

PlayStation Now still isn’t good enough

Sony launched its subscription plans for PlayStation Now, a service that lets you download and stream games from an ever-growing library, on January 13th, 2015. Since then, a lot has changed. The company has added PS4 blockbusters and PS2 classics to its once PS3-only catalog. Meanwhile, Xbox Games Pass, Discord Nitro and others have emerged as competent pay-once, play-anything contenders on rival platforms. Many technology behemoths, including Google and, reportedly, Amazon and Verizon, are also experimenting with hardware-agnostic game streaming.

In 2019, is PlayStation Now worth $19.99 per month? Or a $100 annual subscription? For a narrow subset of PC and PlayStation 4 owners, yes.

Sony’s subscription service currently offers over 700 games. (I counted 646 on February 11th, 2019, in the UK.) The company’s marketing is quick to highlight its biggest and most-loved titles, including Red Dead Redemption, Steep and Mafia III. Scroll across to the ‘All Games’ tab, however, and you’ll find that the heavyweight pickings are slim. The bulk of the library is filled with forgettable titles such as Alien Spidy, Gem Smashers and Kung Fu Rabbit. There are four Formula 1 games — yes, four — ranging from F1 2014 to 2017. While a valuable form of game preservation, they feel like needless padding. How many people want to go back and play F1 2014?

The catalog does have some big hitters, however, including The Last of Us (the PS3 version, not the PS4 remaster), Fallout: New Vegas and BioShock Infinite. But as I started bookmarking titles, I quickly realized how many were already sitting in my library. Bloodborne, Until Dawn, For Honor, Mafia III, Journey, God of War III: Remastered — I had earned all of these through PlayStation Plus, an older subscription service that costs $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year and is required to play PS4 games online.

As I started bookmarking titles, I quickly realized how many were already sitting in my library.

You don’t need PS Plus to take out a PlayStation Now subscription. That means you could ditch PS Plus — which usually means forfeiting your library of ‘free’ games — and still have access to the titles I just mentioned.

So which, if any, should you choose? If you own a PS4 and play anything with an online multiplayer component, you obviously need PS Plus. PlayStation Now has a bigger and broader selection of ‘free’ games, though, in particular for people who are new to the ecosystem and haven’t accrued a decent library of PS Plus games.

If, like me, you’ve had PS Plus for some time (and religiously added the monthly games to your library), you’ll be underwhelmed by the selection of PS4 games in PlayStation Now. Instead, I found myself gravitating towards the grab-bag of PlayStation 2 and 3 titles, which include Ape Escape, Dark Cloud, Resistance 3 and the original Uncharted trilogy.

Seventeen years later, Ico is still a masterpiece.

The PlayStation 4 doesn’t support traditional backward compatibility. Shove a Fallout 3 disc into your PS4 Pro, for instance, and nothing will happen. This is due to the custom Cell processor that Sony used in the PS3. It was a capable but notoriously difficult chip for developers to work with, and the company wisely chose to switch to the more common x86 architecture for the PS4 in 2013. Sony has cracked PS2 emulation, however, and currently offers a small selection of classics in the PlayStation Store.

As a result, on the PS4, PlayStation Now only offers downloads for PS4 and PS2 games. Everything from the PS3 era has to be streamed over a Sony-controlled server. (If you’re on PC, the entire service is streaming only.) I tried the critically acclaimed Ico (the HD remaster that was released for the PS3 in 2011, not the PS2 original) over my admittedly ropey home broadband connection. PlayStation Now tested my setup, however, and deemed it acceptable for game streaming. In theory, then, my experience should have been as Sony and the participating developers intended.

Ico worked well enough, and I was immediately captivated by the atmospheric puzzler crafted by Fumito Ueda in 2001. It helped, of course, that the slow-paced adventure didn’t require precise platforming or ninja-like reactions to defeat its shadowy monsters. I did notice the occasional slow-down and dropped frame, but there was no perceptible input lag.

Buoyed with confidence, I tried Sonic Generations, a blazing-fast mixture of 2D and 3D stages. I charged through the first couple of levels with a grimace, rather than a Cheshire cat grin on my face. Something about the platforming felt a tad off. A short delay, perhaps, between my thumb hitting the X button and watching the blue blur launching himself over a chasm of game-ending spikes. I was suddenly aware that my eyeballs were watching a feed, rather than a game running natively on the PS4.

Sonic Generations

I had a hard time playing Sonic Generations.

To verify these feelings, I downloaded two PS4 games through PlayStation Now: Steep, an extreme sports title that was recently given away as part of PS Plus, and Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, a family-friendly game based on the Cartoon Network phenomenon. The process took considerably longer than starting a new stream, of course. But no longer than a game would normally take to download after purchasing it through the PlayStation Store. Unsurprisingly, both games ran beautifully. I quickly dumped more than a dozen hours into Steep, descending both Alaska and the Alps via snowboard, wingsuit and paraglider. Likewise, I was soon swept up in the colorful adventure featuring Finn, Jake and Marceline.

The flawless performance made me think of Xbox Games Pass, a subscription service that leverages the true backward compatibility of the Xbox One. There’s no way that Sony can match this, of course. But it could aim for a similar breadth and quality of current-gen titles. Xbox Games Pass offers every Microsoft exclusive on the same day that it hits store shelves. Meanwhile, I have no idea if the God of War reboot, Detroit: Become Human and Insomniac’s Spider-Man will ever come to PlayStation Now.

You can download any PS4 game included with PlayStation Now, including Steep.

I have a few other gripes with the service. Navigating to PlayStation Now through the PlayStation Store, for instance, is hugely inconvenient. If a shortcut doesn’t appear on your PlayStation 4 home screen (it didn’t on my system), adding it manually isn’t straightforward. I would also like the option to boot into PlayStation Now automatically — bypassing the traditional home screen altogether — if I decide that the service is my primary way of purchasing and playing games.

PlayStation Now will also end your stream if you’ve been inactive for too long. I discovered this after pausing Ico and eating dinner partway through a difficult puzzle. The PS2 classic doesn’t have an autosave feature, so I was forced to restart the stream and pick up from my last manual save. I understand why Sony does this — server management is crucial to maintain stream performance — but it’s still annoying.

Should you subscribe to PlayStation Now? If you have a ridiculously fast internet connection and don’t own many games, I think it’s worth considering. You can always subscribe for a month or two and blitz through the games that interest you the most. It’ll be cheaper than buying them individually through even the steepest sales on the PlayStation Store. If you already own some of the games, however, or have a backlog like me — just play those instead. You can download and enjoy them without any of the technical worries associated with streaming.

It’s cheaper for me to stream the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, for instance, than buy a second-hand PS3.

Similarly, if you spend a good chunk of time playing Fortnite, Apex Legends and other online titles, don’t bother. You’re already paying for PS Plus and don’t have the hours required to extract the true value of PlayStation Now. (You could, I suppose, make the argument for both if you have buckets of money and near-limitless free time.)

If you fully commit to the service, though, there are savings to be had. It’s cheaper for me to stream the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, for instance, than buy a second-hand PS3. You also never have to worry about buyer’s remorse or any sense of obligation to finish something you purchased. With a Netflix-style library, you can just put it down and try something else with zero financial repercussions. For PC players, too, it’s an affordable way of accessing PS4 exclusives like Bloodborne and Until Dawn.

Still, I wish the library was broader. Twenty bucks is hard to justify if you’re only mildly interested in the games it has to offer. I would pay a slightly higher fee, similar to EA’s Origin Access Premier, for immediate access to new PlayStation exclusives. Otherwise, I’m happy with my PS Plus subscription and trawling the PlayStation Store for great deals.

Images: Cartoon Network, Outright Games (Adventure Time); Sony (Ico); Sega (Sonic Generations); Ubisoft (Steep)

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China wants to put a solar farm in space by 2025

China wants to put a solar farm in space by 2025


ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images

Humanity uses a lot of energy, and while solar power here on Earth is doing a reasonable job of contributing to the power mix, scientists have long hypothesized that solar power gathered from space itself would be an altogether more effective scenario. And now China says it’s going to be the first to do exactly that, announcing plans to build a solar power station that will orbit the Earth at 36,000 kilometers.

According to China’s state-backed Science and Technology Daily, Chinese scientists plan to build and launch small power stations into the stratosphere between 2021 and 2025, with a megawatt-level station planned for 2030 and a gigawatt-level facility before 2050. Without interference from the atmosphere or seasonal and night time loss of sunlight, these space-based solar farms could provide an inexhaustible source of clean energy, with the China Academy of Space Technology Corporation claiming such a set-up could reliably supply 99 percent of time at six times the intensity of solar plants on Earth.

There are, of course, numerous challenges associated with this sci-fi-sounding plan. Such a power station would weigh a considerable amount — around 1,000 tonnes — so getting the gear into orbit will be difficult. Researchers are therefore considering whether the station could be constructed in space using robots and 3D printing. The effects of microwave radiation on the atmosphere will also need to be studied.

But it’s clearly not beyond the realms of possibility. There’s already a lot of research out there exploring this technology — Japan has been talking about this for a decade, while space programs are constantly growing their understanding of the technology needed to effectively beam power back to Earth. Japan hit upon a solution in 2015 using wireless transmission, while the California Institute of Technology announced last year that it had created a prototype capable of harnessing and transmitting solar energy from space using lightweight tiles. China’s proposal, meanwhile, appears to suggest converting solar energy into electric energy in space, before beaming back to Earth using a microwave or laser and feeding into the grid via a ground receiving system.

China has really ramped up its space program in recent times, reaching the far side of the moon and growing the first plants on the lunar surface. Its timescales for this plan may be ambitious, but its quest to become a space superpower suggests this common science fiction dream is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

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LG won’t release a foldable smartphone anytime soon

LG won’t release a foldable smartphone anytime soon


Mat Smith, Engadget

As Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola rush to release their foldable smartphones, one notable company is sitting out the trend. LG says it’s scrapping plans to release a bendy handset, reports The Korea Times, and will instead launch a 5G version of its flagship V-series brand, along with an LTE G-series lineup, at MWC later this month. The announcement comes just weeks after the company posted its fifteenth straight quarter of mobile losses.

Brain Kwon, the former head of LG’s TV unit who was tasked with reviving its mobile arm late last year, made the announcement at a press conference in Seoul on Friday. “We have reviewed releasing the foldable smartphone when launching 5G smartphone but decided not to produce it,” said Kwon. “LG’s main issue in smartphone business is to regain its market position. Considering this situation, it is too early for LG to launch a foldable smartphone.”

Reports of the device first surfaced in Korean media in 2017. After a period of silence, the company’s trademark applications for the “Foldi” and “Duplex” brand names reignited rumors last November. It was widely expected that LG would launch the device at CES last month, though all we got in the end was its rollable TV.

The fabled phone was tipped to support an optional “second screen” attachment, described as a sort of case with a display. It’s still unclear how far along in its development the device was. Its future, and the fate of LG’s mobile unit, now likely hinges on the success of LG’s upcoming batch of handsets.

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Researchers blame YouTube for the rise in Flat Earthers

Researchers blame YouTube for the rise in Flat Earthers


Ian Cuming via Getty Images

Despite steps taken to counteract problematic material YouTube is still a hotbed of hoaxes and fake news — a problem that’s become so prevalent the site recently announced it is changing its AI in a bid to improve matters. But now the scope of the problem has really come to light, as new research suggests that the increasing number of Flat Earthers can be attributed to conspiracy videos hosted on the site.

According to Asheley Landrum, assistant professor of science communication at Texas Tech University, all but one of 30 Flat Earthers interviewed said they hadn’t considered the Earth to be flat until watching videos promoting the theory on YouTube. Presenting her results at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC, Landrum said that most were recommended the videos after watching clips about other conspiracies, such as alternative 9/11 theories and fake moon landing theories.

Landrum’s interest in the topic was first piqued after she attended the world’s largest gatherings of Flat Earthers at the movement’s annual conference in Rayleigh, North Carolina, in 2017. She visited the conference again in 2018, when it took place in Denver, Colorado, to interview a number of the attendees. According to Landrum, the one person who didn’t point to YouTube as a catalyst for their opinion change had their mind changed by family members who themselves were convinced by YouTube videos.

As AI expert Guillaume Chaslot explained on Twitter earlier this month, conspiracy theory videos tend to be promoted by YouTube’s AI more than fact-based videos because platforms that use AI often become biased by small groups of very active users. This explains why Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay became a racist nightmare in less than 24 hours when it was left in the care of Twitter users.

According to Landrum, YouTube isn’t doing anything wrong, but it could be doing more to protect viewers from misinformation. “Their algorithms make it easy to end up going down the rabbit hole, by presenting information to people who are going to be more susceptible to it.” She called on scientists and other creators to make their own videos to counteract the slew of conspiracy videos. “We don’t want YouTube to be full of videos saying here are all these reasons the Earth is flat. We need other videos saying here’s why those reasons aren’t real and here’s a bunch of ways you can research it for yourself.”

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The Morning After: Razer will close its game store

The Morning After: Razer will close its game store


TCL, CNET

Welcome back to the week. While gaming laptop player Razer shutters its game store, we’re getting primed for Samsung’s big phone launch this Wednesday, where the company could reveal maybe four (!) different phones in one fell swoop.


It’s a reminder that even big names face tough odds selling games.
Razer closes its game store after 10 months

Razer is closing its Game Store on February 28th at 4AM Eastern as part of “realignment plans.” It’ll still honor pre-orders and notes that games will still work as long as you have their Steam or Uplay keys, but you won’t have access to those keys once February is over.

The store held on for roughly 10 months, and while it isn’t a direct portal like the Epic Games Store or Steam, its closure is still significant. This was a rare digital distribution foray for Razer, and it delivered both exclusive game deals as well as discounts on peripherals.


When the going got hard, the e-commerce giant bolted.
Amazon’s HQ2 New York plans didn’t need to end this way

The news caught many off guard. Amazon clearly didn’t want officials to know ahead of time. According to reports, the company had still been in talks with officials as of Wednesday afternoon, with little sign that an about-face was about to happen. While it took Amazon months to decide to bring one of two new headquarters to Long Island City, it took mere moments to end those plans completely. Chris Velazco lays out what happened.


The reality of streaming video might play a role.
Samsung stops releasing Blu-ray players in the US

Looking for the latest and greatest Blu-ray players from Samsung? You’re out of luck if you’re in the US. Samsung told Forbes and CNET that it’s no longer introducing Blu-ray players for the country. It didn’t provide reasoning for the move, but sources reportedly said that Samsung had scrapped a high-end model that was supposed to arrive later in 2019.


Just don’t count on all of them reaching your hands (or arms).
TCL’s folding-phone projects include a watch-like bracelet

TCL isn’t content to settle on one foldable design — it’s seemingly tackling them all. CNET has obtained images and patent filings that show TCL exploring five foldable designs. Four of them are are similar devices with a different fold line, but a fifth model would turn into a smartwatch-style bracelet.

But wait, there’s more…


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