Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

’League of Legends’ pro suspended 20 months for domestic violence

This is double what Riot established as the maximum sentence for ‘Ongoing Misconduct’ in its Global Penalty Index. In its ruling, the studio stated Vasilii’s ‘particularly egregious’ behavior justified extending the punishment: “Whereas making these threats toward another another professional player on stage might warrant a 10 month suspension, physical intimidation and threats of domestic abuse should be punished much more harshly. Additionally, Vasilii has been punished for violent tendencies before – in an incident last year he showed physical aggression onstage, smashing a keyboard and physically intimidating a camera operator during a match.”

This pushed Riot to tweak its rules so that serious domestic abuse incidents would earn harsher punishment. Per its words: “The current limitation of 10 months would not be appropriate for cases such as actual domestic abuse, which would warrant an Indefinite Suspension.”

Riot didn’t deem Vasilii’s actions deserved the new maximum sentence. Earlier in its ruling, the judgment pointed out that “Although the investigation results don’t show proof that Vasilii physically assaulted his girlfriend, he made credible threats of physical violence and death threats toward a defenseless person in a private home that were intimidating enough for her to call the police.” While the company asserted its ongoing right to modify punishments based on ‘aggravating circumstances’ particular to each incident, it’s unclear what line must be crossed for an indefinite suspension.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/22/league-of-legends-pro-suspended-20-months-for-domestic-violenc/

Facebook will alert you if you liked a fake Russian account

As part of its ongoing transparency efforts on Russian activity, Facebook today revealed that it will soon let users find out if they liked or followed pages created by the Internet Research Agency between January 2015 and August 2017. The company said it plans to roll out the tool by the end of this year, which is going to live in the Facebook Help Center and will also include information about Instagram accounts.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/22/facebook-russia-transparency-tool/

Live-action Pokémon movie lands its lead actor

It’s unclear at this stage who Smith is playing in the flick — we’re guessing he won’t don a yellow onesie for the role of the titular character (although, he could be voicing a CGI Pikachu). Before then, the 22-year-old is on track to gain a lot more exposure, thanks to the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Pokémon fever is currently in full swing, courtesy of the latest Pokémon Go event, which has already seen players catch over 500 million pocket monsters just days since it kicked off. And, in case you didn’t notice, the franchise’s latest anime film Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! briefly graced theaters earlier this month.

Despite the abysmal fate of Assassin’s Creed, Hollywood hasn’t given up on video game adaptations. Next year’s contenders include a live-action take on the classic arcade game Rampage, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and a Tomb Raider reboot. Rather more exciting is news that Nintendo is exploring a Super Mario Bros. animated movie.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/21/pokemon-detective-pikachu-movie-star/

This ex-trucker has some questions about the Tesla Semi

Last week I watched Elon Musk unveil the Tesla Semi to see how he’d address some of those unsavory elements. We don’t know what the production truck will achieve when it hits the road, but the Semi has a lot going for it. Nevertheless, the Semi seems most impressive to those who don’t know what it’s like to be a truck driver.

First, let’s clear up what this truck is for, as it was presented. This is not an over-the-road truck. This truck suits line-haul – routes that run between a company’s terminals, like from one regional Wal-Mart distribution center to another. When Musk made the case for a 20-percent savings over a diesel truck, he based the numbers on a 100-mile trip – fifty miles out, fifty miles back. The Semi would be perfect for port work, which involves lots of waiting, idling, stop-and-go traffic, and local out-and-back trips. This first version of the Semi will not replace the dozens of thousands of trucks on huge regional or coast-to-coast runs, clocking 2,000 to 5,000 miles per week.

I only have space here to address a few issues, so we’ll start with the central seating position. I don’t see how that helps a trucker. I already get “a commanding view of the road” in a traditional truck because I sit six feet above traffic. What I need is a commanding view of my own truck, which the central seating position compromises. The worst blind spot in a tractor is next to the doors; in the Tesla Semi, I can’t lean over to see if there’s a Toyota Corolla camped out beside me. The central seating position hampers my commanding view when I need that view most: when I back up. For any backing maneuver, I watch both sides of the trailer in my mirrors to make sure I don’t clobber anything, or I lean out of the truck to watch the trailer as I back. Being able to physically watch the trailer – not camera images on screens – can be the difference between making a clean back-up or making an insurance claim.

Furthermore, I can’t see around trucks in front of me without pulling halfway into another lane. When I need to exchange paperwork with the guard at a terminal, or the police, I can’t lean out the window to do so. Speaking of which, I have to believe one of the windows on the Tesla Semi rolls down, but I can’t figure out which one. If, as it appears from the renderings, the windows only vent, well… that’s unacceptable.

I’d want more mirrors. The silver, condo-sleeper truck at the presentation only had cameras mounted at the rear of the tractor. The black, mid-roof truck supplemented physical mirrors on lengthy stalks on both sides of the cab. Most new trucks come with mirrors mounted on the front fenders that provide views of the front corners – my Kenworth had seven mirrors in total, I’ve seen plenty of trucks with more. You’d be amazed at the number of tiny concrete and reinforced steel impediments lurking at truck stops and customer terminals. I know such mirrors would hamper aerodynamics on the Tesla Semi, but when those $8 contraptions could save thousands on carbon fiber repairs and downtime, I don’t see why anyone would go without them.

Another reason to have physical mirrors: so I can turn off, or turn down, the two giant screens in the cab (screens which, by the way, hinder my view of the corners of my truck). The light required to provide a useful camera image at night would kill my eyes during a full drive shift. Doing an 11-hour stint in a dark cockpit in the glow of large digital screens only works in anime and “Battlestar Galactica.” I had one computer in both trucks I drove, and unless I was using it, I turned the screen off.

A few more quick takes based on Musk quotes from the presentation:

“We want a vehicle that accelerates like nothing else.”

I understand acceleration is a core Tesla brand value, but I’m far more interested in braking. An 80,000-pound tractor trailer needs about 550 feet to come to a complete stop from 55 miles per hour, and I spent a surprising portion of every driving shift trying not to obliterate car drivers who weren’t aware of that fact. Show me how much the Semi can lop off that braking distance.

“[A truck cab is] a clutter of third-party devices, it’s very difficult to use…. It’s a pain-in-the-neck.”

No, it’s not. The trucks I drove had one necessary third-party device in the cab, a Qualcomm computer to communicate with HQ, and I put a portable GPS unit on the windshield. That was it. The truck cabin photo Musk used during the presentation had a Qualcomm-type unit, plus a traditional GPS, plus an iPad with a GPS display, plus another small display I couldn’t identify. I’ve been in plenty of truck stops and walked by a ton of trucks, and only the most frightened novice or the most chronically indecisive driver would mount that much junk.

“You have to sit there for 15 minutes while the tank gets filled.”

Truckers don’t “sit there” while filling up at a truck stop. Truckers clean all the windows, mirrors, and headlights, check the tires and axle seals, make sure every tractor and trailer light works, and look for damage. This walkaround can take longer than the actual fill-up, and it must be done no matter what energy powers the truck.

“Jackknifing is impossible.”

This is a lie, unless the Tesla Semi and Tesla trailer can counteract physics and human error. My Freightliner weighed about 18,000 pounds, the reefer trailer added about another 16,000 pounds. That left enough for about a 46,000-pound load. When stuffed to the gills, I had 62,000 pounds ready to push me around or come around. If, either through physics or human error, the drive wheels or the trailer break loose too far, the Tesla Semi won’t stop the jackknife.

These are only a few questions I have about the driver experience, before we get to some of the larger trucking issues the Tesla Semi wants to address, but it’s enough for now. Electric trucks, including the Tesla Semi, are inevitable and welcome; making trucking more efficient and safer for drivers, fleet operators, and the environment benefits the entire world. Companies like Wal-Mart and JB Hunt that have placed orders for Tesla Semis have the routes, terminal control, and money for terminal infrastructure to make the most of the Semi, so we’ll see what the production unit looks like in 2019 (hopefully) and parse the feedback after 10,000 miles of road duty. Don’t be surprised to see more mirrors.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/21/tesla-semi-trucker-questions/

GE hub connects its smart lights to Alexa and Google

When GE introduced its latest C-series smart light bulbs, the focus was on affordability — as they talked directly to your phone through Bluetooth, you didn’t need a bridge device. That kept them out of touch of voice assistants, however, which meant replacing the whole lot if you wanted hands-free control. Well, you won’t have to rethink your investment from now on: GE has introduced a hub, the C-Reach, that puts its bulbs on WiFi to enable support for Amazon’s Alexa and (by the end of 2017) Google Assistant. As with most smart lighting kits, you can steer lights individually or in groups just by talking to your phone or a smart speaker.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/20/ge-c-reach-hub-for-smart-lights/

IHOP will deliver your pancakes in select cities

Online ordering is now available at over 1,700 US locations. It’s not clear when delivery will roll out on a nationwide basis, but if you’re ordering online for the first time, you can receive $5 off an order of $25 or more with the code IHOPNGO.

Earlier in 2017, the pancake giant introduced custom packaging that was designed to ensure that to-go patrons would receive the same quality food that they were used to enjoying in restaurants. The company’s patented packaging keeps food warm longer and allows for easy transport with minimal sliding.

IHOP certainly isn’t the first chain restaurant to add delivery to its roster of services. Fast food eateries such as Five Guys and Chipotle have experimented with delivery by partnering with various websites, including DoorDash, Amazon and Facebook. It’s not a surprise that IHOP wants to get in on the action and deliver fluffy, delicious pancakes to houses across the country.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/20/ihop-food-delivery-in-select-cities/