London is the second city to get free gigabit WiFi kiosks

While the London kiosks have a slightly different name (InLinks as opposed to just Links), they are identical in what they offer, and are also funded entirely by advertising revenue generated from the large screens on either side of the monoliths. Intersection — the affiliate of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs that leads the Link projects — decided not to enable free internet access through the kiosks’ in-built tablets in its second city, though. This feature had to be disabled in New York, you might remember, due to a public porn problem.

Like the LinkNYC program, later plans for the UK’s next-gen phone boxes include temperature, traffic, air and noise pollution sensors. The idea being the environmental monitoring aspect will create the data streams needed for future smart city projects. New York City now hosts almost 900 free gigabit booths, with “thousands more” to be installed over the next few years. By comparison, London’s starting small with only a handful of cabinets along one major street, but many more are expected to spring up around the capital and in other large UK cities before the year’s out.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/london-inlinks-gigabit-wifi/

How Troy Baker's Naughty Dog work influenced 'Shadow of War'

It’s a simple, perhaps unexpected, way to coax a different kind of a performance from an actor. “I have an answer in my back pocket [as a director], but it’s probably not going to be as connected to you as the one you [the actor] have right here. So tell me what you think.”

Baker said that that sort of question requires a lot of trust: trust from the director in his or her actors, and for an actor to trust themselves to come up with a character-appropriate response. It also takes humility on the director’s part, knowing they won’t always have the best ideas on-set.

“For me it’s asking questions, being open to the answer and not just trying to lead people to your answer,” Baker said.

But that gets tricky when you’re playing a principal role both onscreen and behind the camera. Baker admitted he needed a lot of direction with the Talion we’re seeing in Shadow of War. He couldn’t quite call Druckmann for help on that, so Baker relied on writer Tony Elias to keep him on task and his performance true to the script. That was in addition to regular consultations with Ethan Walker and Nate Hendrickson, from Monolith’s cutscene team, watching a take after take from a monitor right after yelling, “Cut!”

“The hard part was not viewing my performance [as an actor], but as a director, just seeing Talion,” Baker recalled. “It’s super easy to nitpick and say, ‘I want myself to do something differently or better’ as opposed to a director being objective and going, ‘No, it works. Get over yourself. It’s not about you, it’s about this scene.'”

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/troy-baker-shadow-of-war-naughty-dog-interview/

Zombie shooter ‘Arizona Sunshine’ invades PSVR

Developed by Jaywalker Interactive and published by Vertigo Games, Arizona Sunshine aims to put you directly into the action with both free-movement and teleportation navigation systems. You’ll explore the post-apocalyptic southwest, searching for clues about other survivors and battling the monstrous undead along the way. You can also join up with a friend in co-op multiplayer or pull in three of your buddies to take on the endless Horde mode. The developers promise “next-level zombie mutilation,” which isn’t a phrase you hear every day, and a ton of realistic physics and particle effect systems.

The Arizona Sunshine Launch Edition will be 10 percent off through July 4th and will come with a free PS4 theme. It also can take advantage of the PS 4 Pro‘s extra power and can be used with Sony’s aim controller, which is designed for precision shooting in PSVR games.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/27/zombie-shooter-arizona-sunshine-psvr/

Windows 10 source code leak is an embarrassment for Microsoft

The breach was initially thought to be massive; The Register reported that the leak consisted of around 32TB of files. They claimed it included builds of Windows that haven’t yet been released. However, it later became clear that the leak was smaller than originally reported, and what’s more, much of this data had been made available. The Shared Source Kit has already been distributed to Microsoft’s partners and licensees through the Shared Source initiative.

That doesn’t mean this data leak isn’t serious, though. It’s an embarrassing black mark for Microsoft at a time that more and more people are paying attention to and concerned about computer security. While the source code has been removed voluntarily by Beta Archive, it’s unclear how many people had already downloaded it. It’s possible that it still could be distributed via other methods and used to create exploits for Windows 10.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/24/windows-10-source-code-leak-embarrassment-microsoft/

Emojis for zombies, T-Rex and Colbert are almost here

Outside of the emoji, the update also introduces a Bitcoin character and is more adept at handling less common languages or written requirements.

Don’t expect to use all these new characters right away. Your device operating system will need an update to recognize them, and there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting a while. You’ll likely have to wait until Android O to see them on a Google-powered phone, while the iPhone and iPad crowd will likely have to sit tight until iOS 11. There’s nothing stopping companies from adopting the new Unicode pack, however — it’s now just a question of everyone getting with the program.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/21/unicode-10-emoji-are-ready/

Etsy slashes almost a quarter of its staff in attempt to refocus

Silverman said the layoffs were part of an effort to focus on Etsy’s “vital few initiatives,” though he didn’t specify exactly what parts of the company were being a drag. The only indication was that the company would focus on its “core marketplace.” However, Etsy has launched plenty of things in the past few years that stray from what the company is best known for, including local shopping guides to find sellers IRL as well as an online shop for crafting supplies (rather than crafts themselves).

The fact that Amazon, eater of worlds, has also gotten into the handmade crafts business over the last few years also cannot be ignored. The experience of using Etsy likely isn’t changing any time soon for sellers or buyers, but a renewed focus on what the company does best might help it through the challenges that led it to make these cuts in the first place.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/21/etsy-layoffs-focus-on-core-marketplace/

Tidal’s ‘On Air’ podcast network features five exclusive shows

The company already has five acts lined up for what it’s dubbed, TIDAL On Air. Angie Martinez and Minya “Miss Info” Oh will co-host “In Real Life” where, each month, they discuss “music, motherhood and everything else that happens off the clock.” “Rap Radar” host Elliott Wilson is relaunching his influential podcast for Tidal with co-host Brian “B. Dot” Miller, which will air weekly.

Stefi Chacon is slated to interview the biggest names in Latin pop from Miami on her weekly podcast “En La Mira”. And for the comedy nerds, Cipha Sounds’ “The Guest Spot” will feature stand-up comics debating the topic du mois. Finally, legendary DJ Luis Jimenez has agreed to produce a number of specials for commemorative days like Hispanic Heritage Month and Colombian Independence Day for the service.

The first episodes of In Real Life, En La Mira and Rap Radar are all currently available for Tidal subscribers. The Guest Spot and Jimenez’s specials will become available once they air.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/20/tidal-s-on-air-podcast-network-features-five-exclusive-shows/

It’s time to embrace the eSIM

For the uninitiated, SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, and it’s generally a tiny, fingernail-sized piece of plastic that you slide into a tray on your phone, laptop, tablet or smartwatch. Typically, this is found in your phone, and contains a unique reference number for your account so that your mobile service provider knows who to charge and how much access to grant you. The card also has some onboard memory to store a small number of your contacts and SMS messages.

It's time to embrace the eSIM

But fiddling with a tiny, physical card is archaic and frustrating (who wants to carry around a SIM ejector?), and eSIMs can alleviate that pain. Embedded SIMs integrate the identification technology of the plastic card into the device’s processor or modem itself. For Intel-branded chips, this will be supported in its existing XMMTM 7260 modem and upcoming XMM 7360 model, while Qualcomm offers it in the Snapdragon 835 chipset. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to buy a new device. If your machine already has a SIM card tray, you’ll be able to slide in an adapter.

Don’t worry about being locked to one carrier, though. Thanks to the new version of what’s called “remote SIM provisioning (RSP),” eSIMs can store and adopt different profiles (or accounts) so you can simply switch carriers without having to get a new card (we’ll get to what this looks like on your device in a bit). This means you could get wireless plans when you’re traveling or buy specific amounts of data without having to visit a carrier’s physical store. The GSMA, which represents the interests of about 800 mobile operators worldwide, updated its RSP specifications in March to extend this capability to gadgets other than phones.

It's time to embrace the eSIM

The Samsung Gear S3 pictured above is one of the first consumer devices to use an eSIM.

Carriers will have to support this technology before you can access their networks over eSIM. So far, T-Mobile, AT&T and about 20 providers worldwide have said they’ll work with Microsoft to let eSIM-connected PCs buy data from the Windows Store. What that process will look like isn’t clear yet. Microsoft said it’s working on making the carrier selection process part of the Windows 10 interface. It could be as easy as picking a wireless operator the way you select a WiFi network, then going to the Windows Store to buy the amount of data you think you’ll need.

Based on a presentation made by Deutsche Telecom/T-Mobile at the GSMA’s March event, it could also involve entering an activation code provided by the operator in your device’s settings.

Not only will eSIMs save you trips to physical stores and remove the need to fiddle with a tiny piece of plastic, the space saved from not having a card tray anymore could also make for smaller gadgets. Since SIM cards don’t take up all that much room in laptops and phones, the space gained is most significant in things like wearables and connected devices. If they didn’t have to accommodate physical SIM trays, device makers could design LTE-capable smartwatches that are a bit slimmer.

We’re still at least a few months away from seeing the benefits of eSIM and the resulting carrier flexibility. But given the support from big brands like ASUS, Lenovo and HP, who have all signed on to make eSIM-enabled PCs, it’s clear we’ll see much more of the feature soon. Plus, who knows? In a few more years, we could even say goodbye to physical SIM cards altogether. And good riddance.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/its-esim-time/

GM eyes HD mapping to boost self-driving car development

While GM might be the country’s top auto manufacturer, it lags behind Google and other Silicon Valley companies when it comes to self-driving technology. Indeed, Google’s self-driving project, called Waymo, has an upper hand on its rivals because of the company’s robust maps. GM and other car companies are racing to keep up with the tech giant.

However, GM has an advantage that Google does not: actual cars on the road. Last year, GM announced that it would begin to use OnStar, the safety system and in-car concierge installed in its cars, to create maps for autonomous vehicles. Now, it appears as though the company is ready to take advantage of all that data. “Look at how many cars GM sells — it won’t take much to have that data very quickly,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc., told The Wall Street Journal.

GM also recently announced that it was adding an additional 130 cars to its test fleet of autonomous Chevy Bolts. Between its prototype driverless cars and advances in HD mapping, it appears as though GM is very serious about developing safe and effective self-driving vehicles as quickly as possible.

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/gm-hd-mapping-self-driving-cars/

‘Killer Instinct’ will be available through Steam

Just as with Quantum Break (which arrived on Steam in September), KI was supposed to be a tentpole release for the Windows Store — a marquee game that persuades you to stick around and see what other titles are available. While it certainly got enough attention to warrant three seasons’ worth of content, it’s not clear that it reached its sales potential by launching on a store that (let’s be honest) many gamers don’t use.

Iron Galaxy hasn’t officially explained the jump to Steam (we’ve asked if it can comment), but it wouldn’t be surprising if the studio and Microsoft are belatedly acknowledging a market reality by going where the players are. You’re unlikely to see some big Microsoft games on Valve’s storefront any time soon, but we wouldn’t be shocked if third-parties more frequently release their Windows Store-only games through other portals going forward.

That’s right, KI is coming to Steam later this year! Thanks to @CEOJebailey for helping us break the news. More details to follow.

— Killer Instinct (@KillerInstinct) June 17, 2017

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Source URL:http://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/killer-instinct-coming-to-steam/