Amazon regularly makes changes to the costs and availability of its groceries. The company's latest attempt to drive more business comes in the form of a subscription plan. Prime members can now pay $10 monthly for unlimited free Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods deliveries on orders over $35. The subscription also includes unlimited 30-minute pickup orders, regardless of the amount spent.
The addition of Whole Foods is notable as any delivery from the retailer through Amazon has included a $10 delivery fee since 2021. However, Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries over $35 were already free for Prime members until early this year when Amazon added a fee for grocery deliveries under $150. The company reduced that threshold to $100 in October, with a $7 fee on Fresh orders of $50 to $100 and a $10 fee on orders below $50. So, basically, Prime members can now pay $10 each month to have the same deal they had up until January plus the $15 monthly or $139 annually to be a Prime member.
The addition of a subscription plan follows other attempts from Amazon to drum up business for its grocery sector. In November, Amazon expanded Fresh grocery delivery and pickup to anyone, not just Prime members. Amazon is starting small with its newest offer, rolling out the subscription plan to Prime members in three US cities: Sacramento, CA, Columbus, OH and Denver, Colorado. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-is-trialing-a-10-monthly-grocery-subscription-for-prime-members-123559940.html?src=rss
This one-of-a-kind PS5 console was customized with the PS1s retro gray finish, and classic quad-color PS logo. Even the DualSense controller was given a late-90s makeover, with a cute plug cover for the PS5s front USB-C port to mimic the first-ever PlayStations controller.
No, this wont go on sale. Its a farewell gift for SIE (Sony Interactive Entertainment) President and CEO Jim Ryan, who is retiring in March 2024. At a thank-you party this week, the outgoing PlayStation boss was honored by many industry legends, including the father of PlayStation Ken Kutaragi, Gran Turismos Kazunori Yamauchi, Team Asobis Nicolas Doucet and, of course, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.
It was a gaming-heavy 24 hours, actually. This years Game Awards barraged us with new trailers and game news. Surprise, free DLC, an RPG set on an entirely procedurally generated world and a... Blade game?
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Metas Threads is getting searchable hashtags that arent quite hashtags
The company is trying to prevent engagement hacking.
Metas latest update for Threads brings the long-awaited ability to search for topics, with tags. Although the feature is under the familiar # symbol, Threads tags are slightly different to hashtags. Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained Threads tags can contain spaces and special characters, and can only use a single tag per post, so choose wisely.
The makers of No Mans Sky will simulate a whole planet for Light No Fire
Hello Games new title is an Earth-sized multiplayer RPG sandbox.
UK indie studio Hello Games has announced its next game, Light No Fire, which will bring the procedural generation of No Mans Sky to an entire planet on an incredibly detailed scale. It will combine open-world exploration with multiplayer community building, set on a planet the size of Earth, apparently. Light No Fire has been in development for five years by about a dozen developers at Hello Games, but theres no release window yet.
Google admits it staged a Gemini AI demo video
There was no voice interaction, nor did the demo happen in real time
As Google scales up its AI battle with OpenAI and ChatGPT, the company has now admitted one demo, shown in the video Hands-on with Gemini: Interacting with multimodal AI, was edited to speed up the results. The interactions, too, werent based on voice but text input.
The demo used still image frames from the footage and prompting via text, rather than having Gemini respond to or even predict a drawing or change of objects on the table in real time. Its all a little less impressive and comes when Googles most cutting-edge AI models dont differ hugely from OpenAIs latest GPT tricks.
Baldurs Gate 3 is available on Xbox Series X/S
The official Game of the Year is finally on Microsoft consoles.
Developer and publisher Larian Studios had pledged to release the Xbox version of this years Game of the Year by the end of the year and said it would reveal the exact date at The Game Awards. True to its word, Larian announced the Xbox version of Baldurs Gate 3 is out right now.
The delay was due to a technical problem with the Series S, and the inability to make the games split-screen feature on the lower-powered console. However, Larian said it had a solution to support split-screen on Series X, but not Series S, and had permission to do so from Xbox bosses.
Continue reading.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-a-ps1-themed-playstation-5-121506223.html?src=rss
The UK is considering an investigation into Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI to decide if it has resulted in an "acquisition of control" that's subject to antitrust law, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) wrote today. The regulator said it's considering "recent developments," no doubt referring to the Sam Altman CEO ouster drama in which Microsoft played a large role.
"The CMA is now issuing an ITC to determine whether the Microsoft/OpenAI partnership, including recent developments, has resulted in a relevant merger situation and, if so, the potential impact on competition," it said in a news release. "The CMA will review whether the partnership has resulted in an acquisition of control that is, where it results in one party having material influence, de facto control or more than 50% of the voting rights over another entity."
The regulator noted that the "close and multifaceted" partnership includes a multi-billion dollar investment by Microsoft, technology development cooperation and cloud services. It added that both firms have significant activities in financial and related markets, meaning their business dealings directly affect investors. It added that Microsoft was recently involved in developments related to OpenAI's governance.
When Sam Altman was fired by OpenAI's board, Microsoft stepped in to hire him, and a majority of OpenAI's staff threatened to bolt to Microsoft as well. OpenAI's board relented soon after and Altman returned as CEO. "Microsoft executives have since concluded that the current situation [with Altman back in charge] is the best possible outcome," according to a New Yorker expose on the drama.
The CMA is now seeking views on whether the partnership creates a relevant merger situation and how it impacts competition in the UK. If an investigation is launched, it would be the second one involving Microsoft in the last year, following the company's Activision Blizzard acquisition. The UK's probe had material effects on that merger, as Microsoft agreed to sell Activision Blizzard game streaming rights to Ubisoft to satisfy the CMA. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-uks-competition-regulator-is-reviewing-microsofts-links-to-openai-115248453.html?src=rss
Some Android users are getting an update that could literally save their lives one day. Android users who have a device with the Personal Safety app can now opt-in to sharing medical information with first responders when calling or texting 911. The feature has been available for iPhone and Apple Watch users since the rollout of iOS 13.5 in 2020.
Android users can add information such as caller name, allergies, emergency contacts and preexisting medical conditions. "This is when the information you put inside your phone becomes useful to 911," Tenea Reddick, ECC director at Baltimore City Fire Department, said in a statement. "This information is available to use before the dispatch, and before the responders arrive. It saves so much time because we already know what we're responding to and what we need." The feature is especially beneficial if the person contacting 911 is unable to communicate.
For now, this feature is only available on Androids with the Personal Safety app, such as the Nothing Phone 1 and the Google Pixel 4 through Google Pixel 8 Pro. Anyone with these devices can enable the new feature by going to the "Your info" section of the Personal Safety app. From there, they can click "Emergency info access" and then "Share during emergency call."
Android and Apple's services are run by RapidSOS, a safety platform that securely shares critical information in times of crisis to over 16,000 911 and field responder agencies. Apple users can access Medical ID, a feature in the Health app that, similar to Android's Personal Safety app, stores information such as blood type, emergency contacts, allergies and preexisting medical conditions. RapidSOS shares this data with first responders, who can also determine a person's location if they call 911 in an area with Enhanced Emergency Data services. Android users have also had the ability to send location data through RapidSOS since 2018. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/android-phones-can-now-send-medical-data-during-911-calls-104518043.html?src=rss
Apple built more iPhone 15s in India than any past model and it plans to continue that trend. The company will shift a quarter of its iPhone production more than 50 million phones to the nation within the next two to three years, The Wall Street Journal reported. China would still remain the largest iPhone supplier by a good margin, though.
Foxconn and other Apple suppliers reportedly believe that the push into India has been proceeding well, so they're setting the stage for future expansion. The company proceeded slowly at first due to infrastructure problems and powerful unions that have helped set more restrictive labor rules pushing back against 12-hour work days, for example.
India's commerce minister said at the beginning of 2023 that Apple planned to build 25 percent of its phones in the nation, but there was never any timeframe attached to that. Two to three years would represent a fairly dramatic ramp-up, considering that the iPhone 15 marked the first time it had released a model made in India on launch day.
It's also been known that Apple contractor Foxconn would manufacture more iPhone 15s than past models its facility in Tamil Nadu, India. It's part of Apple's plan to diversify manufacturing in the face of supply chain risks due to tensions between the US and China. Foxconn is currently building a plant in the southern Karnataka state expected to open in April 2024, and has another megaplant on the drawing board as well, according to the WSJ's sources.
To date, Apple has only built a small percentage of its iPhones in India, and production previously lagged behind China by up to nine months. That changed with the iPhone 14, which started manufacturing the same month as in China, and iPhone 15s built in India were available in stores at launch.
Relations between US and China are delicate at the moment, with the US recently taking measures to block access to advanced technology in the nation. Apple continues to stress the nation's importance, though, with CEO Tim Cook having traveled there twice in 2023. Apple also sells a large number of phones in China, accounting for about 19 percent of its total revenue while stressing that all phones in sold China through authorized channels are also built in China and use local suppliers. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-plans-to-build-more-than-50-million-phones-in-india-within-three-years-101756528.html?src=rss
Remember the 20th anniversary limited edition PlayStation 4? No, I didn't get one, either. But what if Sony were to port that same sweet retro look from the PS1 to the PS5? Look no further than the farewell gift which SIE (Sony Interactive Entertainment) President and CEO Jim Ryan who is retiring in March 2024 received yesterday.
In a photo posted by Yuichi Haga, the Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Lead at SIE, the "one of a kind" PS5 console not the slim model was customized with the PS1's retro gray finish, along with the classic quad-color "PS" logo. Even the DualSense controller was given a DualShock 1 makeover, complete with a cable and a cute plug cover that goes over the PS5's front USB-C port. Ryan's team went the extra mile to make a special packaging design one that pays homage to the PS1's box art.
Sad I wont be around for #TheGameAwards but I couldnt pass up the chance to go to Jim Ryans thank you party and be around some legends and this one of a kind Jim Ryan PS5 with PS1 style. pic.twitter.com/WP7qwtxDI0 Yuichi (@InstallBase) December 7, 2023
At yesterday's thank-you party, the outgoing PlayStation boss was honored by many industry legends, including the "father of PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi, Gran Turismo's Kazunori Yamauchi, Team Asobi's Nicolas Doucet and, of course, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. PlayStation's BAFTA-winning indies lead, Shuhei Yoshida, was notably absent as he had to attend The Game Awards (while nabbing the "Games for Impact" award on behalf of Awaceb, the developer behind indie title, Tchia).
It's unclear as to whether us mere mortals will get to own a version of this special edition PS5, but considering that it'll be PlayStation's 30th anniversary next year, perhaps Sony will consider making one for the PS5 Slim then?
With PlayStation legends pic.twitter.com/HxdHc0UseA Nao Koto (@knyaop) December 7, 2023
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/feast-your-eyes-on-this-ps1-themed-playstation-5-080926381.html?src=rss
Google is counting on its very own GPT-4 competitor, Gemini, so much that it staged parts of a recent demo video. In an opinion piece, Bloomberg says Google admits that for its video titled "Hands-on with Gemini: Interacting with multimodal AI," not only was it edited to speed up the outputs (which was declared in the video description), but the implied voice interaction between the human user and the AI was actually non-existent.
Instead, the actual demo was made by "using still image frames from the footage, and prompting via text," rather than having Gemini respond to or even predict a drawing or change of objects on the table in real time. This is far less impressive than the video wants to mislead us into thinking, and worse yet, the lack of disclaimer about the actual input method makes Gemini's readiness rather questionable.
It comes as no surprise that Google denies any wrongdoing here, as it referred The Verge to an X post written by Gemini's co-lead, Oriol Vinyals, which says "all the user prompts and outputs in the video are real," and that his team made the video "to inspire developers." Given the industry and authorities' attention on AI lately, perhaps the tech giant should be more sensitive about its presentations in this field.
Really happy to see the interest around our Hands-on with Gemini video. In our developer blog yesterday, we broke down how Gemini was used to create it. https://t.co/50gjMkaVc0We gave Gemini sequences of different modalities image and text in this case and had it respond pic.twitter.com/Beba5M5dHP Oriol Vinyals (@OriolVinyalsML) December 7, 2023
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/google-admits-that-a-gemini-ai-demo-video-was-staged-055718855.html?src=rss
ByteDance's TikTok has been facing a tough time over its handling of Israel-Hamas war content and related hate speech, but it is now stepping up with some new initiatives. On the moderation side, the social platform is rolling out new comment filtering tools, with the most notable one being "Comment Care Mode," which supposedly automatically filters comments that are deemed similar to the creator's previously reported or deleted ones. Another new feature helps nix comments made by accounts that are not in the creator's following or follower list. The company aims to increase new users' awareness of these tools via a prompt after their first video upload, and in the long run, it'll set up a product beta testing program to get direct feedback from creators.
TikTok has also set up a new anti-hate and discrimination task force, in the hopes of proactively spotting antisemitism, Islamophobia and other hate trends before they get out of hand. The team will work with experts on improving training for moderators to better address hate speech, and it will expand its managed creator communities to Jewish plus other inter-faith communities, as well as API and LGBTQ+, next year.
The Information added that TikTok plans to expand access to its research APIs to civil society groups as the likes of the Anti-Defamation League have been requesting for years, apparently so they can better understand the types of content spreading on TikTok. This comes in stark contrast to how X well, Elon Musk, mostly limited social media researchers' access to its platform, while it continues to deny any wrongdoing over accusations of antisemetic content.
While TikTok's stepped-up efforts may not convince those who still accuse its algorithm of bias, the platform has at least continued removing a staggering amount of offending content. The latest figure on removed videos in the conflict region has hit 1.3 million, between October 7 and November 30. These included "content promoting Hamas, hate speech, terrorism and misinformation."This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-adds-comment-filtering-tools-to-better-handle-israel-hamas-war-content-050007752.html?src=rss
The first Final Fantasy XVI DLC was not only announced at the Game Awards 2023; its already available on the PlayStation Store. Echoes of the Fallen, set before the base games final battle, is out now, while a second DLC installment, The Rising Tide, arrives in spring 2024.
The PlayStation blog says Echoes of the Fallen unlocks a whole new story, battles, weapons, accessories, level cap and more. Youll follow Clive and the gang as they run into a group of suspicious traders, which points them to an abandoned Fallen tower, the Sagespire. Terrible secrets lie in store.
The epic story of Final Fantasy XVI moves ever onwards.Echoes of the Fallen is out today and The Rising Tide launches in Spring 2024. Grab the expansion pass for a special discounted price. #FF16 pic.twitter.com/o1JN5Q91sQ FINAL FANTASY XVI (@finalfantasyxvi) December 8, 2023
A bonus awaits those who buy Echoes of the Fallen or the games Expansion Pass, in the form of the Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII. In addition, it adds the Away (1987) Orchestrion Roll, unlocking a chiptune version of the song as new hideout background music.
As for The Rising Tide, Square Enix promises a climactic confrontation between Clive and Leviathan, the legendary Eikon. In addition, if you havent played the base Final Fantasy XVI game yet, its discounted on the PlayStation Store through December 11.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-first-final-fantasy-xvi-dlc-echoes-of-the-fallen-is-out-now-043119823.html?src=rss