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2023-12-01 17:05:16| Engadget

Perplexing name aside, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is our favorite pair of wireless headphones for most people, and now the noise-canceling cans are back on sale for $328. This deal has popped up multiple times in the past year, most recently during the many Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales held over the course of November, but it still takes $72 off Sony's list price. While there've been a few steeper discounts since the headphones arrived in May 2022, we don't see them with much regularity. This offer is available at Amazon, Adorama and B&H; Sony also has it for $2 more. Engadget Senior News Editor and audio expert Billy Steele gave the WH-1000XM5 a score of 95 in his review last year. This pair's active noise cancellation (ANC) is still among the better options we've tested, and its lightweight, well-constructed design should be comfortable for most to wear over extended periods. Battery life sits at a decent 30 or so hours per charge, the built-in mics are perfectly solid for phone calls and the whole thing can connect to two devices at once. The default sound profile emphasizes the bass, so it'll work best with hip-hop and pop music, though you can rein that in to something more neutral if you're willing to use the EQ tools in Sony's app. That app is home to a few other useful bonus features as well, including "Speak to Chat," which automatically pauses whatever you're playing when you start speaking. The XM5 isn't without flaws: The design can't fold up (unlike the older Sony XM4s), and you can't manually adjust the strength of the ANC to the extent that you can on other pairs. Bose's QuietComfort Ultra delivers more powerful ANC on the whole, while Apple's AirPods Max can still offer more conveniences to iPhone owners. You can get better sound for the money, too. Taken as a complete package, however, the XM5 remains our top pick.  If you want a pair of noise-canceling earphones, meanwhile, the Sony WF-1000XM5 has dropped back to $248. Again, that's a deal we've seen for much of the last month, but it matches the price we saw on Black Friday. The WF model tops our guide to the best wireless earbuds, as it provides most of the features noted above in an in-ear design that isolates a good chunk of outside noise even when the ANC isn't turned on. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonys-wh-1000xm5-headphones-are-back-on-sale-for-328-160516896.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-12-01 16:31:39| Engadget

The long-awaited sci-fi strategy sequel Homeworld 3 at last has a release date. Its now slated to arrive on March 8. Thats another slight delay, given the February release window that developer Blackbird Interactive and publisher Gearbox were aiming for, but at least theres now a concrete date. Those who pick up the Fleet Command edition, meanwhile, will get access 72 hours earlier. In a short behind-the-scenes video, Blackbird CEO and co-founder Rob Cunningham said this was "really our original dream of Homeworld 2. The problem was, in the late '90s, early 2000s, the vision for Homeworld 3 was utterly impossible to make." Homeworld 2 debuted in 2003. Cunningham noted that Blackbird had to wait 20 years to achieve the kind of scale and scope it wanted. The team has revealed a few more details about what's in store. Players will have a choice between the classic Homeworld control scheme or a more modern setup that should be familiar to fans of other real-time strategy games or MOBAs you'll just need to click on an element in the environment to get there. There's also a focus on cover-based tactics. You can use a larger ship to protect yourself or even flank enemies. Launch sequence initiated. Homeworld 3 is set for arrival on March 8, 2024. Get a closer look at how powerful visuals and unique mechanics came together to create the immersive sci-fi strategy experience fans have been waiting for.Pre-order now: https://t.co/rbs3Dtk9yJ pic.twitter.com/AGCakm1oZo Homeworld (@HomeworldGame) November 30, 2023 This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sci-fi-rts-sequel-homeworld-3-will-arrive-on-march-8-153139081.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-12-01 15:00:31| Engadget

YouTube recently took dramatic action against anyone visiting its site with an ad blocker running after a few pieces of content, it'll simply stop serving you videos. If you want to get past the wall, that ad blocker will (probably) need to be turned off; and if you want an ad-free experience, better cough up a couple bucks for a Premium subscription. Although this is an aggressive move that seemingly left ad blocking companies scrambling to respond, it didnt come out the blue YouTube had been testing something similar for months. And even before this most recent clampdown, the Google-owned video service has been engaged in an ongoing conflict a game of cat-and-mouse, an arms race, pick your metaphor with ad-blocking software: YouTube rolls out new ways to serve ads to viewers with ad blockers, then ad blockers develop new strategies to circumvent those ad-serving measures. As noted in a blog post by the ad- and tracker-blocking company Ghostery, YouTube employs a wide variety of techniques to circumvent ad blockers, such as embedding an ad in the video itself (so the ad blocker cant distinguish between the two), or serving ads from the same domain as the video, fooling filters that have been set up to block ads served from third-party domains. Its not that YouTube is alone in these efforts; many digital publishers make similar attempts to stymie ad blockers. To some extent, YouTubes moves just get more attention because the service is so popular. As AdGuard CTO Andrey Meshkov put it in an email, Even when they run a test on a share of users the number of affected people is very high. At the same time, according to Ghosterys director of product and engineering Krzysztof Modras, its also true that as one of the worlds largest publishers, YouTube constantly invests in circumventing ad blocking. And that those investments have been effective. Many of the most common ad blocking strategies, including DNS filtering (filtering for third-party domains), network filtering (which Modras described as more selective and better at blocking first-party requests) and cosmetic filtering (which can blocks ads without leaving ad-shaped holes in the website content) no longer work on the site. Now, Modras said, YouTube seems to be adapting [its] methods more frequently than ever before. To counteract its changes to ad delivery and ad blocker detection, block lists have to be updated at minimum on a daily basis, and sometimes even more often. While all players in the space are innovating, some ad blockers are simply unable to keep up with these changes. Keeping pace with YouTube will likely become even more challenging next year, when Googles Chrome browser adopts the Manifest V3 standard, which significantly limits what extensions are allowed to do. Modras said that under Manifest V3, whenever an ad blocker wants to update its blocklist again, something they may need to do multiple times a day it will have to release a full update and undergo a review which can take anywhere between [a] few hours to even a few weeks. Through Manifest V3, Google will close the door for innovation in the ad blocking landscape and introduce another layer of gatekeeping that will slow down how ad blockers can react to new ads and online tracking methods, he said. For many users, the battle between YouTube and ad blockers has largely been invisible, or at least ignorable, until now. The new wall dramatically changes this dynamic, forcing users to adapt their behavior if they want to access YouTube videos at all. Still, the ad blocking companies suggest its more of a policy change than a technical breakthrough a sign of a new willingness on YouTubes part to risk alienating its users. It's not that YouTube's move is something new, many publishers went [down] this road already, Meshkov said. The difference is [the] scale of YouTube. That scale affects both the number of users impacted, as well as the number of resources required to maintain these defenses on the publisher's side. Going this road is very, very expensive, it requires constant maintenance," he added, "you basically need a team dedicated to this. There's just a handful of companies that can afford it." As ever, ad blockers are figuring out how to adapt, even if its requiring more effort from their users, too. For example, Modras noted that throughout much of October, Ghostery experienced three to five times the typical number of both uninstalls and installs per day, as well as a 30 percent increase in downloads on Microsoft Edge, where our ad blocker was still working on YouTube for a period of time. All of this activity suggests that users are quickly cycling through different products and strategies to get around YouTubes anti-ad block efforts, then discarding them when they stop working. Meanwhile, uBlock Origin still seems to work on YouTube. But a detailed Reddit post outlining how to avoid tripping the platform's ad-block detection measures notes that because YouTube changes their detection scripts regularly, users may still encounter the sites pop-up warnings and anti-adblock wall in brief periods of time" between script changes (on the platform's end) or filter updates (on uBlock's side.) uBlock Origin may also stop working on Chrome next year thanks to the aforementioned Manifest V3. And if youre hoping to use it on a non-Chrome browser, Google has allegedly begun deprecating YouTube's load times on alternate browsers, seemingly as part of the anti-ad block effort. While 404 Media and Android Authority, which both reported on this issue, were not able to replicate these artificially slowed load times, users were seemingly able to avoid them through the use of a user-agent switcher, which disguises one browser (say, Firefox) as another (in this case, Chrome). Why do some ad blockers still work? The answer seems to boil down to a new approach: Scriptlet injection, which uses scripts to alter website behavior in a more fine-grained way. For example, Meshkov said an ad blocker could write a scriptlet to remove a cookie with a given name, or to stop the execution of JavaScript on a eb page when it tries to access a page property with a given name. On YouTube, Modras said, scriptlets can alter the data being loaded before its used by the page script. For example, a scriptlet might look for specific data identifiers and remove them, making this approach subtle enough to block ads that have been mixed in with website functionality, without affecting the functionality. Scriptlet injection also plays a role in an increasingly crucial part of the ad blockers job: escaping detection. AdGuards Meshkov said this is something that teams like his are already working on, since they try escape detection as a general rule both by avoiding activity that would alert a website to their presence, and by using scriptlets to prevent common fingerprinting functions that websites use to detect ad blockers. Scriptlet injection seems to be the most promising approach right now in fact, Modras described it as currently the only reliable way of ad blocking on YouTube. Meshkov said that assessment is accurate if you limit yourself to browser extensions (which is how most popular ad blockers are distributed). But he pointed to network-level ad blockers and alternative YouTube clients, such as NewPipe, as other approaches that can work. A recent AdGuard blog post outlined additional other steps that users can try, such as checking for filter updates, making sure multiple ad blockers aren't installed and using a desktop ad-blocking app, which should be harder to detect than an extension. (AdGuard itself offers both network-level blocking and desktop apps.) At least one popular ad blocker, AdBlock Plus, wont be trying to get around YouTubes wall at all. Vergard Johnsen, chief product officer at AdBlock Plus developer eyeo, said he respects YouTubes decision to start a conversation with users about how content gets monetized. Referencing the now independently run Acceptable Ads program (which eyeo created and participates in), Johnsen said, the vast majority of our users have really embraced the fact that there will be ads [...] weve made it clear we dont believe in circumvention. Similarly, a YouTube spokesperson reiterated that the platforms ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and that the use of ad blockers violate YouTubes Terms of Service. As the battle between YouTube and ad blockers continues, Modras suggested that his side has at least one major advantage: Theyre open source and can draw on knowledge from the broader community. Scriptlet injection is already getting more powerful, and its becoming harder for anti-ad blockers to detect, he said. In some ways, the current situation has spurred an arms race. YouTube has inadvertently improved ad blockers, as the new knowledge and techniques gained from innovating within the YouTube platform are also applicable to other ad and tracking systems. But even if most users grow frustrated with the new countermeasures and decide to whitelist YouTube in their ad block product of choice, Modras suggested that ad blockers can still affect the platform's bottom line: If users disable ad blocking on only YouTube and maintain their protection on other websites as they browse, the platform will quickly learn that they are still unable to effectively target ads to these users, since it wont have data about user activity on those other sites. Regardless of what YouTube does next, he suggested that other publishers are unlikely to build a similar wall, because few if any services enjoy the same chokehold on an entire media ecosystem not only owning the most popular video sharing service, but also the most popular web browser on which to view it. "YouTube is in a unique position as it is de facto a monopoly," he said. "That's not true for most of the other publishers. Even against those odds, ad block diehards aren't dissuaded in their mission. As Andrey Meshkov put it bluntly: YouTubes policy is just a good motivation to do it better.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/inside-the-arms-race-between-youtube-and-ad-blockers-140031824.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-12-01 14:34:30| Engadget

If you've been meaning to pick up an Xbox Series X but weren't able to grab one on Black Friday, good news: Walmart has a bundle that pairs the powerful console with a digital copy of the action-RPG Diablo IV on sale for $349. That's the largest discount we've tracked and a full $151 off the Series X's normal going rate. The game, meanwhile, normally goes for $70. This price also tops the best deals we've seen for the device over the past week; on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the bundle mostly sat at $440.If the bundle runs out of stock and given the extent of the discount, we expect it will fairly quickly Walmart and Amazon also have the console alone on sale for the same $349. But again, you'll likely want to move fast to secure the deal. As a refresher, the Series X is Microsoft's highest-end Xbox; it packs a stronger GPU and 6GB more RAM than the less expensive Series S, allowing it to play demanding games at higher frame rates and resolutions more consistently. It also comes with a disc drive and 1TB of storage as default. Microsoft has had some struggles producing first-party hits, but Xbox Game Pass remains one of the better values in gaming if you like to sample a wide range of titles, and the Xbox library is still home to plenty of games we like. Diablo IV isn't necessarily one of those, but it could still be worthwhile if you're in the mood for a "numbers go up" dungeon crawler.  Hanging over every Xbox deal right now is a massive court document leak from September that included details of a potential Series X refresh, which could arrive sometime in 2024 and omit a disc drive altogether. Still, if you want to jump on the Xbox bandwagon today, the current Series X remains a strong value when it's discounted to this extent. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-xbox-series-x-is-down-to-just-349-right-now-133430874.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-12-01 13:15:32| Engadget

NASA and IBM are building an AI model for weather and climate applications, combining their knowledge and skills in earth science and AI. They say the foundation model (more on that in a bit) should offer significant advantages over existing technology. Current AI models, such as GraphCast and FourCastNet, are already generating weather forecasts more quickly than traditional meteorological models. As IBM notes, those are AI emulators rather than foundation models. AI emulators can make weather predictions based on sets of training data, but they dont have applications beyond that. The model may predict meteorological phenomena better, inferring high-res information based on low-res data and identifying conditions conducive to everything from airplane turbulence to wildfires. Mat Smith The biggest stories you might have missed Steams streaming software now lets you wirelessly play PC VR games on Quest headsets Bipartisan Senate bill would kill the TSAs Big Brother airport facial recognition The best Android phones Teslas long-awaited Cybertruck will start at $60,990 before rebates You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here! Evernote officially limits free users to 50 notes and one measly notebook We recognize these changes may lead you to reconsider your relationship with Evernote. Evernote Evernotes new, tightly leashed plan will restrict new and current accounts to 50 notes and one notebook. Existing free customers who exceed those limits can still use their notes, but theyll need to upgrade to a paid plan to create new ones. Evernotes premium plans include a $15 monthly Personal plan with 10GB of monthly uploads. Thats a pricey subscription for what is dedicated note cloud storage. When Evernotes parent company, Bending Spoons, moved its operations from the US and Chile to Europe, it said the app had been unprofitable for years. That push into socks didnt work. Continue reading. The US government halts Meta briefings on foreign influence campaigns Officials have paused tips to Meta. Meta says the government paused in July briefings related to foreign election interference, eliminating a key source of information for the company. During a call with reporters, Metas head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, declined to speculate on the governments motivations, but the timing lines up with a court order earlier this year that restricted the Biden Administrations contact with social media firms. The disclosure comes as the company ramps up its efforts to prepare for multiple elections in 2024, and the inevitable attempts to manipulate political conversations on Facebook. The company said in its latest report on CIB that China is now the third-most common source of coordinated inauthentic behavior on its platform, behind Russia and Iran. Continue reading. Google Messages now lets you choose your own chat bubble colors But this has nothing to do with messaging iPhones and all that drama. Google is rolling out a string of updates for the Messages app, including customizable text bubbles and background colors. So, if you really want, you can have blue bubbles in your Android messaging app. You can even have a different color for each chat, which could help prevent you from telling the wrong thing to the wrong person. But none of this means nothing to iPhone users and has nothing to do with the prolonged toing and froing on text message compatibility. Continue reading. How OpenAIs ChatGPT has changed the world in just a year The generative AI chatbot has helped kickstart a multibillion-dollar industry. SOPA Images via Getty Images ChatGPT exploded in popularity, from niche online curio to 100 million monthly active users the fastest user base growth in the history of the internet. In less than a year, it has earned the backing of Silicon Valleys biggest firms, as well as being shoehorned into myriad applications from academia and the arts to marketing, medicine, gaming and government. ChatGPT is just about everywhere. Engadgets Andrew Tarantola looks at the blazing first year of OpenAIs chatbot. Continue reading. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-nasa-and-ibm-team-up-for-powerful-ai-weather-model-121532358.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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