Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
Welcome to your weekend! We've got a new Engadget Podcast episode for you to enjoy, as well as some bad news about Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency. News highlights from earlier in the week include the PS5's name (spoiler alert: it's called the PlayStation 5) and a price drop on the Pixel 3a.
In this episode, Devindra and Cherlynn are joined by Engadget Editor-in-Chief Dana Wollman to discuss Apple's latest desktop OS. We also ponder what Google will show off at next week's Pixel event; chat about PG&E's widespread power outages in California; and dive into the weirdness of Andy's Rubin's latest Essential phone, Project Gem. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments!
The Libra Association is set to hold its first board meeting on Monday. Unfortunately, big-name "founding members" who won't make it include PayPal -- it backed away a week ago -- as well as Visa, Mastercard, eBay and Stripe. Facebook's cryptocurrency scheme still appears to have support from some others including, Uber and Lyft, but we'll see who makes it through the weekend. Libra exec David Marcus suggested these moves are temporary until there's "regulatory clarity," and encouraged everyone to "stay tuned for more very soon."
Cirque du Soleil is iconic: both a smooth corporate machine and pop culture staple. The company's approach has been to launch its latest innovation lab called Nextasy. At the global headquarters in Montreal, the lab is playing with motion sensing to make a soundtrack respond to dancers' actions, AI to spark new makeup ideas and augmented reality to overlay animations onto live performance.
The new Amazon Fire TV Cube is much improved over last year's model. It now has YouTube and YouTube TV, support for Dolby Vision and HDR+, and a lot more video viewing commands than before. You can use it as an Echo too, with the ability to make voice calls and control your smart home.
It's official: Sony isn't going off-book on the naming convention. The PlayStation 5 will land near the end of 2020, and the company is detailing how it'll upgrade the next-gen console's controllers. A lot of it is to do with haptics, with more refined vibrations and rumbles meant to better represent your in-game world. New adaptive triggers on the L2 and R2 buttons will offer something close to force feedback, representing, say, the tension of a bow-string or the pushback from the accelerator pedal.
Gaming rival Nintendo also tried out advanced haptics in the Switch, but it never quite took off. The company dropped the feature from the cheaper Switch Lite. It's a little too early to draw conclusions on Sony's application, though. It's over a year away.
Almost all HFR (high frame rate) 3D screenings stateside will be projected at 60 fps, despite distributor Paramount urging theater chains earlier this year to get ready for the flick. 14 locations will have the 120 fps showing, but only in 2K resolution. If you want both, try theaters in the UK or "select" locations in Asia.
But wait, there's more...
- Apple Watch Series 4 just keeps getting cheaper -- the GPS model is down to $330
- Steven Spielberg's follow-up to 'Band of Brothers' is coming to Apple TV+
- Blizzard halves 'Hearthstone' pro's suspension over Hong Kong protest, returns prize money
- Watch ESPN's first 4K broadcast Saturday night via DirecTV or Comcast
- Samsung will 'help' OLED owners check for burn-in
- Microsoft's leaner Windows 10 update process begins with new patch
- Instagram updates bring dark mode to iOS 13 and Android 10
- Google's Pixel 3a drops to $349 on Amazon
- Engadget's Guide to Home Entertainment: The best streaming boxes (and sticks) in 2019
- NASA's ICON launches to study the boundary between Earth and space
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