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2024-05-22 12:00:03| Engadget

Nintendo is buying (PDF) Florida-based studio Shiver Entertainment from the Embracer Group, which is splitting up its rather messy gaming empire and is letting go of certain assets. Shiver was founded in 2012 and is mostly known for working with publishers and developers to port games to the Switch, including couple of Scribblenauts titles and Hogwarts Legacy. Nintendo will acquire the "boutique-sized studio" in full, making it a fully owned subsidiary that will continue working on Switch ports and developing software for multiple platforms.  The Japanese gaming company isn't known for gobbling up small studios and developers. In its announcement of the deal, it said it's aiming "to secure high-level resources for porting and developing software titles" with this purchase. By buying Shiver, Nintendo is also showing that it's committed to the Switch platform, which will remain its primary business for years to come.  As Nintendo Life notes, Nintendo may have decided to purchase Shiver to acquire its talent, as well. The studio's CEO, John Schappert, is an industry veteran who used to oversee Xbox Live, the Xbox platform software and Microsoft Game Studios. He also served as Chief Operating Officer at EA and at Zynga. Nintendo didn't say how much it's paying for the studio, but it doesn't sound like the purchase will make any considerable impact on its finances. "The Acquisition will have only a minor effect on Nintendos results for this fiscal year," the company wrote in its announcement. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/nintendo-snaps-up-a-studio-known-for-its-switch-ports-100003358.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-22 05:53:22| Engadget

The tech startup Humane is seeking a buyer for its business, just a bit over a month since it released the AI Pin, according to Bloomberg. Engadget's Cherlynn Low described the AI Pin as a "wearable Siri button," because it's a small device you can wear that was designed with a very specific purpose in mind: To give you ready access to an AI assistant. Humane is working with a financial adviser, Bloomberg said, and is apparently hoping to sell for anywhere between $750 million and $1 billion.  The company drummed up a lot of interest and successfully raised $230 million from high-profile investors. However, a billion may be a huge ask when its AI pin was mostly panned by critics upon launch. We gave the AI Pin a score of 50 out of 100 in our review due to several reasons. It was slow and took a few seconds to reply when we asked it questions. The responses were irrelevant at times and weren't any better than what you could get with a quick Google search. Its touchpad grew warm with use, it had poor battery life and its projector screen, while novel, was pretty hard to control. The Humane AI Pin also isn't cheap: It costs $700 to buy and requires a monthly fee of $24 to access the company's artificial intelligence technology and 4G service riding on T-Mobile's network. In a post on its website, Humane said that it was listening to feedback and listed several problem areas it intends to focus on. Another dedicated AI gadget, the Rabbit R1, is much more affordable at $199, but it's still not cheap enough to make the category more popular than it is, especially since you could easily take out your phone to use AI tools when needed. Humane's efforts to sell its business is still in its very early stages, Bloomberg noted, and it might not close a deal at all. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/wearable-ai-pin-maker-humane-is-reportedly-seeking-a-buyer-035322167.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 22:40:25| Engadget

Super Mario Maker and its sequel are terrific games that let fans create and share their own Mario levels with ease. But it was a bit of a disappointment that Nintendo only factored in the 2D Mario games. None of the plumber's 3D incarnations have made it to a Mario Maker title to date. So thank goodness for modders. A pair of modders named Arthurtilly and Rovertronic have released an open-source Super Mario 64 mod that aims to make it a cinch for players to create and share their own levels. You'll need your own (legally obtained) Mario 64 game file and a separate piece of software to infuse the mod into it. It's even possible to use Mario Builder 64 on a Nintendo 64 if you have a supported flashcart. You'll have more than 100 parts to build your levels with. The creation tool includes some custom parts from a previous mod, so you have extras like permanent powerups at your disposal. To share your creations and find those made by others, the recommended places to look are a website for Mario level modders and Rovertronic's Discord server. It'll be interesting to see if ridiculous 3D kaizo-style levels start popping up, while the mod could allow speedrunners to create custom training grounds where they can practice strategies. Personally, I'm hoping for creators to build levels that rely on half-A presses to beat.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/a-super-mario-64-mod-may-be-as-close-as-we-ever-get-to-mario-maker-3d-204024562.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 22:17:40| Engadget

The US Department of Justice arrested a Wisconsin man last week for generating and distributing AI-generated child sexual abuse material (CSAM). As far as we know, this is the first case of its kind as the DOJ looks to establish a judicial precedent that exploitative materials are still illegal even when no children were used to create them. Put simply, CSAM generated by AI is still CSAM, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco wrote in a press release. The DOJ says 42-year-old software engineer Steven Anderegg of Holmen, WI, used a fork of the open-source AI image generator Stable Diffusion to make the images, which he then used to try to lure an underage boy into sexual situations. The latter will likely play a central role in the eventual trial for the four counts of producing, distributing, and possessing obscene visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and transferring obscene material to a minor under the age of 16. The government says Andereggs images showed nude or partially clothed minors lasciviously displaying or touching their genitals or engaging in sexual intercourse with men. The DOJ claims he used specific prompts, including negative prompts (extra guidance for the AI model, telling it what not to produce) to spur the generator into making the CSAM. Cloud-based image generators like Midjourney and DALL-E 3 have safeguards against this type of activity, but Ars Technica reports that Anderegg allegedly used Stable Diffusion 1.5, a variant with fewer boundaries. Stability AI told the publication that fork was produced by Runway ML. According to the DOJ, Anderegg communicated online with the 15-year-old boy, describing how he used the AI model to create the images. The agency says the accused sent the teen direct messages on Instagram, including several AI images of minors lasciviously displaying their genitals. To its credit, Instagram reported the images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which alerted law enforcement. Anderegg could face five to 70 years in prison if convicted on all four counts. Hes currently in federal custody before a hearing scheduled for May 22. The case will challenge the notion some may hold that CSAMs illegal nature is based exclusively on the children exploited in their creation. Although AI-generated digital CSAM doesnt involve any live humans (other than the one entering the prompts), it could still normalize and encourage the material, or be used to lure children into predatory situations. This appears to be something the feds want to clarify as the technology rapidly advances and grows in popularity. Technology may change, but our commitment to protecting children will not, Deputy AG Monaco wrote. The Justice Department will aggressively pursue those who produce and distribute child sexual abuse materialor CSAMno matter how that material was created. Put simply, CSAM generated by AI is still CSAM, and we will hold accountable those who exploit AI to create obscene, abusive, and increasingly photorealistic images of children.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-doj-makes-its-first-known-arrest-for-ai-generated-csam-201740996.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 21:39:38| Engadget

Microsoft made some unusually major moves ahead of its Build developer conference: It announced a new Copilot+ initiative for powerful AI PCs, which will be led by the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. These machines are powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X Plus and Elite chips, and they come with a special version of Windows 11 optimized for Arm mobile chips and AI. Basically, Microsoft is doing for PCs what Apple did with its M-series Macs four years ago. In this bonus episode, Devindra chats with Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft's head of Windows and Devices, about the new Surface devices and the Copilot+ PC initiative. We still don't know how well these new machines will perform, but it sounds like Microsoft has certainly heard our complaints about Arm-based Windows devices. Listen below or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. 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! And be sure to check out our other podcast, Engadget News! Subscribe! iTunes Spotify Pocket Casts Stitcher Google Podcasts Transcript Devindra: Hey everyone, this is Devindra here. I had a chance to chat with Pavan Davuluri, the head of Microsoft Windows and Devices, basically the team in charge of Surface and Windows. And we talked about the new Copilot Plus Surface PCs, the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop, and the whole new Copilot Plus initiative in general. It's kind of a big move for Microsoft. We've reviewed quite a few of the ARM based Windows PCs and you know, they have not worked out so well. So I think this could be different, at least from the benchmarks we've seen. We still need to test these things, but I think Pavan is also aware of Microsoft's own issues around this kind of hardware and they're aware that this seems like a big push for them and a good opportunity to kind of shift to a mobile platform, just like Apple did. So anyway, here's my chat with Pavan. Devindra: Pavan, thank you so much for speaking with us, how do you feel about these new devices and Copilot Plus as an initiative? Pavan: I'm excited. It's been a multi-year journey for our team. So I'm excited to share. I think the work that we've been on for some time now. And I'm also excited because I think it's the start of a journey for us. So we had an opportunity to tell our story, bring a bunch of product and value out there and then I'm excited to see what people will do with it. Devindra: Awesome. I remember when there were rumblings about this I think for the past year we were hearing that Microsoft was doing something maybe with ARM chips again and with Qualcomm and we saw the new Snapdragon benchmarks I think last fall. And we started getting a little excited and also a little worried, because personally, I have like a love or hate relationship with Windows on ARM, I reviewed the first Surface with Windows RT, it was, it was a worthy attempt, and then most recently we've seen the Pro X devices and all those things, and recently I did the Pro 9 with 5G, and even then I was like, I don't, I just had a lot of issues with it. So, what did you guys learn from your past experiences with Windows on ARM that you brought into this one? Pavan: That's a good question. I do remember your thoughts on them at the time, and we actually did pay attention to them yeah, as a team, collectively. There's a couple of things I think that we learned that were meaningful. One that I think we've addressed in the conversation. Current generation of the Snapdragon X parts that Qualcomm team has delivered. Performance matters. And so one of the foundational investments we've made in much more performance CPUs, both in terms of the CPU energy efficiency, but also peak performance of these CPUs. We love multithreaded performance because it matters to the operating system, but we wanted to make sure we had good sustained and peak performance. I think that's a significant improvement from our previous generations that we, you know, we learned about. The second big thing was the work that we did on what we're calling Prism, the new ARM emulator. We, we certainly learned through that journey that emulation performance matters both in terms of the efficiency of the emulation itself and the breadth of catalog compatibility with emulation. So that was a big lesson learned. I think we've made good progress. The third thing really and hence it's been a multi year journey, is making sure we have great performance. Native arm app experiences for us. And so we have worked across the breadth of the windows ecosystem to go deliver on great app experiences, and we are very excited that our collective ecosystem partners across a range of top app categories. Now, those apps are native. And so whether you look at you know, Disney and Spotify had one in the spectrum, it'll be photoshopped or, you know, your most used browsers. I think at this point in time, Mhm. Certainly they're all native. Our ecosystem is certainly committed. And then the big thing for me was the biggest developer on Windows is Microsoft. Microsoft bringing native apps has been a huge thing for us. And so I'm super proud of the Edge team having a native version now for us. The M365 app estate really is native. A bunch of our security products are native. Your inbox apps, your calculator is native. And so, yeah. I think those are big lessons learned and be a problem to bear. Devindra: Gotcha. I will let you know, like, I'm personally, maybe I'm weird about this, I'm more interested in what's going on with Windows on ARM than the AI stuff. I think the AI stuff is cool, has a lot of potential, but we've lived through Windows on ARM for a long time. Like, oh, this is finally here, you've got good battery life, you've got a lot of stuff. Can you tell me, like, these improvements, will they trickle down to the existing devices? Will the Surface Pro 9 5G, the Pro X, will they get benefits from these changes to Windows? Pavan: Some benefits will trickle down to those. Some are going to be platform dependent, and so a lot of the work that we did was really are learning to make the OS and the silicon platform a deeper, more synergistic vehicle for delivery. And so, in those instances, the OS improvements are tied to the platform themselves, but not all, some of them. And we continue to look at ways of finding ways Find a way to, you know, bring them back to our broader ARM install base but I think we're going to prioritize the Snapdragon X series going forward. Gotcha. Devindra: Is there a new name for what you're doing with this Windows? Microsoft has been very, very big on different Windows names, like RT and we, we've gone through a couple. Are you guys calling this anything differently? Referring what this Windows on ARM is versus the old stuff? Pavan: It's Windows 11. Okay. And in, you know, in my mind's eye, there isn't, there's only one flair of Windows, it's Windows 11. And that's true for consumers Devindra, it's true for our commercial customers, it's true for developers, in my mind, you know, importantly. So we don't want people to have to think about all of that, we want them to be able to build apps for us to be predictable in certain set of ways that matter to them, and then unlock the ability to build devices and, you know, people have choice on the kinds of products and platforms they want to build. Devindra: Gotcha. And these first batch of devices, the Surface Pro, interesting, you guys aren't using the numbers anymore. I see Surface Pro 11th generation is how you're referring to it in documents, and the new Surface laptop, these are Qualcomm powered machines right now, but we're also, you talked with Intel, you talked with AMD, they were here, or they at least said that they have hardware coming out. Can you tell us how that will fit into the Surface lineup, or are we just thinking about Qualcomm Surface devices for now? Pavan: Our partnerships with AMD and Intel have been longstanding indeed. Certainly for the Windows ecosystem at large, the operating system itself, but also on Surface. And I think we will make decisions on what silicon we use in Surface products based on how do we best build a system that serves end customers and certainly represents innovation in the Windows ecosystem. And we look forward to working with all of them. Devindra: Gotcha. Yeah. And you guys also have a lot of partner hardware coming out, which I was surprised to see. Normally, when this happens, you have your devices and you're like, Hey, everybody, follow along. But you have them now. You have all the major manufacturers. You have new machines coming. Can you talk about the process of basically coordinating that? Because I feel like that makes Copilot Plus feel like a true initiative and not just Microsoft putting a flag in the ground saying, Hey, everybody follow us, right? Pavan: You nailed it. I think that is exactly the intent. And that is the, I think first I will say I am Deeply grateful for the partnerships across the windows ecosystem. So you saw the major partners out there today. They have been with us again on a multi year basis on this journey. For sure. I think for me, having been on the windows team and in the past in the surface team for some time, I think the level of partnership we have seen from them and from us is the thing that I have not seen before. I guess it's probably the simplest way to describe it. They have been great in terms of Making sure we were building product with. the value prop that actually mattered and delivered to them. That was, you know, a great place up front where they were part of the product making journey with us. We've had a deep co engineering cycle, because building these great systems at the end of the day does require both the hardware platform, the silicon, certainly the operating system, app layers to all be equipped. This is sort of the idea of the system configurations that they talked about. And so we went through, you know, a whole generation of co engineering with them together. And then now, when it comes to going to market, and telling our story, and landing our customers through it, I find that we are deeply aligned together. Because I think, to your point, whether it's performance, and, you know, fundamentals that we can go deliver on, or unlocking new AI things, it's a thing that, you know, it captures all of our imagination, and all of our mind share. It's a thing I think they're as excited about as we are. And you're right. It doesn't, I don't think it's a meaningful exercise across the industry if our partners are not there with us. I'm actually just grateful that our collective team, our marketing team specifically our field team, we were able to just, and engineering, of course, you know, pull them all together. It was great. Devindra: I think it's kind of interesting because Apple kind of did this four years ago, too. Like, we all covered the, the M series chips and everything, but they have the advantage you guys don't, right? Like, they own the hardware, they own the software. They could be like This is a big ship, but we're just turning. We can just do it. You guys can't. You have to work with your partners to kind of coordinate all that. How long have you guys been working on, like, making this transition? Pavan: To your point earlier ARM itself is not a new construct for us. This particular, and we've been at it for many generations, as you know, this particular iteration has been a few years for us. I'm, you know, I'm almost, I'm drawing a blank and where do I draw the line or the starting line for the exercise? Because some of these things start as a sort of an organic, you know, thought process. Devindra: I feel like the Pro X was this, was the point where you guys were like, Hey, here's a premium surface that's thinner, lighter, you Here's a vision of what the surface can be and then kind of the design follow that. So were you thinking about it by that point? That was three or four years ago. Pavan: Yeah. Yeah, we were definitely thinking about it in that window of time. Devindra: Yeah. Pavan: Yeah. I would also say the big thing in addition, I mean, the thing that we really learned, I would say 2020, 2021, is thinking of it from a system standpoint and then adding AI as a first order construct from Silicon through, you know, platform level components, the OS to the shell layer to app experiences. Yeah. Devindra: I think something I say often, and don't take this too harshly, but I think timing has never been Microsoft's strong suit. I think Microsoft tends to deploy things, maybe a little too early. I saw, I was, I was growing up when web TV was a thing. I remember pocket PC devices. I remember Windows Mobile. I had a Zune. I had multiple Zunes. So, I The timing, it seems interesting how quickly you guys jumped on AI last year with Bing search and everything and with the launch of co pilots, it does seem like you guys are kind of taking a leadership, I guess, role in timing for AI because everybody kind of had to respond to what you were doing. Can you talk about just how that feels? Does it feel different to you for how Microsoft is approaching new technology? Pavan: It does. It does feel different for sure. I personally find it Pretty exciting and energizing at the same time. It's a little humbling as well I think to your point there is we certainly want to be in a place where we have enough composition and you know meaningful value and completed execution, you know quality of the product itself. And so it certainly puts pressure on that to make sure we are showing up in a leadership time frame with a great product But it is a different feeling for sure and I'm kind of excited about it because I do think we have a bunch of things we have learned in the last 18 months with the starting with the Bing work that happened last year. Through the M365 co pilot work that has happened and now we're calling the Windows co pilot runtime on device models and Windows 11. Where we have a ton of great lessons learned across the company that is a kind of a flywheel and accelerator for us. Responsible AI is one good example. That team has learned a lot. They are now an integral part of how we think about it. Same thing applies for app teams. You know, they're collectively in an AI first world. And so it's a lot easier for us to go orchestrate work across the company. Devindra: Can you talk more about the idea of responsible AI and how you guys are thinking about it? Because the Recall feature seems very cool. Seems like something a lot of people could use. And then I think, like, oh man, this is, the way people are worried about people snooping in their browser history, right? There's the meme, if I die, please delete my browser history. Stuff like that. And recall is just like, oh, you've created this thing that will see everything we're doing online. How are you guys thinking about the usability aspect of something like that, and also the data privacy aspects of it? Pavan: Yeah, it's a, it's a really good question, and I think it's important. For us, thinking about earning permission and trust through, you know, security and privacy, I think, was front and center in our mind as product makers as we were building that feature, Devindra. If you, you know, when you start playing with these Copilot Plus PCs, you'll see that as you go set up the PC for the first time, we are very deliberate in taking customers through a user experience, you know, onboarding journey that makes it very clear for them on what that experience is like. And And making sure we're educating them and then giving them control is fundamental. So in the onboarding experience. The second big thing is in the ongoing use of the product, we make it simple and intuitive so you are in control and you understand what is happening. And so I think as you get comfortable over time you know, you either give the experience more or less license. And so you're always in control. And we do that with the task bar and keeping the feature front and center with you for recall. And the third thing, I think we want to take the stress out of making it feel like you made a decision that you can't undo. And so we give you enough control in the feature in the arc of time. And so you can, you know, delete, you know, instances from the past for instance, and so on. So we're using a lot of constructs that people are familiar with, with, with data that it's already, you know, You know, the content rather that they're sharing. Finally kind of an important decision we've made. For those PCs is the data, the semantic index is stored locally on your PC. And that is a thing that we feel confidence in being able to stand by. And I think at the end of the day that is a foundational component of saying we're not moving that data set to the cloud, we're not training on it, for instance. There's no other framework that has programmatic access to it. And so so I think those are, you know, first step in the journey for sure. But those are some core components in making sure we meet those expectations. Devindra: How are you guys thinking about recall when it comes to like multi user systems or shared systems? Because, hey, if everybody's using a different account, then problem solved. That's pretty easy. Everybody logs in. But for a lot of family computers, it's just kind of sitting there and people run up to it and do their work. How does recall work in a shared user environment like that? Pavan: It follows a user account. And so to the extent there's multiple users, you have multiple indices. If there's one account that's shared by multiple people, that's a shared index. Hmm. Devindra: Gotcha. I guess I think that makes sense. Can we talk about the devices specifically? So first of all, interesting that you guys kind of did the step back from the numbers just Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. It always feels interesting when a company does that, like you're kind of. Stake and claim. This is different. Yeah, point in time there. The actual hardware doesn't seem that different. You know, the Pro I've always liked is a, like, very sleek, light device. Thinner bezels on both. Are there, are there hardware changes that you want to bring up? I know OLED is now an option on the Pro. Yeah. Any in the quad cameras, the quad HD cameras, very nice. Anything else you want to highlight in the new models? Pavan: First of all, your point, I think your observation is right on the money for us. We think co pilot plus PCs are the start of a new generation. And so we did want to put a marker for these devices represent that new class for us. And, and like you said earlier, it's not just Surface. There's a whole ecosystem that believes in that. One of my favorite personal features that I love on the Pro is the detachable keyboard. I do love that. That It was, you know, when we talk to customers, the number of times people ask us for that feature without quite knowing that they're asking us for it yeah, yeah, the design team in my mind, sort of, you know, going through intuitive understanding of how people work that flexibility and freedom is probably the Kind of the iconic thing that we've introduced this time around that has been in the work for some time. It's not easy because you want to deliver on great battery life on that little keyboard. It's gotten thinner, it's gotten more stiff and so you still have to have a battery and have great battery life on it. It has to be reliable, you know, because it's your keyboard experience. On the laptop there are a bunch of things that I love. You, you observation on the bezels getting thinner and lighter. I love bezels, yeah. Thin bezels, yeah. Thin bezels. I continue to love the 3x2. I feel like in the form factor it gives me the most bang for buck in terms of just workable real estate on the machine. I personally love the the user physical design of the product with ports and accessibility. One of the things that is awesome about Windows is, I think, what people expect by way of I. O. and port interop, and so, on my laptop, at least, I have multiple 4K monitors on the screen. That is a thing I can kind of go after. So there's lots. Devindra: I do want to talk about the Flex keyboard, because it seems like, again, Microsoft does this thing where it's like, ah, so close. So close. It's a great idea. It is $350. And that is just... you're killing me. And then you have the bundle at $450. Okay, fine. I can accept that, although I think that's a little too expensive. But I also know you guys are keeping the existing Pro covers around. At their existing prices. This felt like a great opportunity for Microsoft to at least put a keyboard with the Surface. And I think, Okay. Ever since the Surface RT, I feel like I've been asking this question every year for the past 10 plus years. I'm going to keep asking it. What is the thinking about just putting a keyboard, like including a keyboard with the Surface? Because I think about these things differently than the iPad. An iPad is a tablet. You're going to use a tablet first, maybe occasionally with a keyboard. You guys keep talking about the Surface as a PC, as a Windows machine. Yes. Nobody wants a Windows machine without a keyboard. So, I don't understand the justification of not at least bundling something with it. Pavan: You know, so first, your dataset comment is absolutely right. We, we have, you know, Most customers attach a keyboard to to the device itself. One thing we do have is flexibility of choice in the keyboards themselves, and so bundles and attach wise is freedom and flexibility across different configurations of keyboards and such. But I hear you on the desire to have them attached. You are not alone, Devindra. And I'm sure the team will find a way, as best as we can, to make that happen when we can. The opening price point comment you made, I think that's a great point as well. And we are looking to learn through this iteration. We'll look at where customers are, where we are with demand, how the Flex Keyboard performs across countries, and We'll certainly account for it as we go forward. Devindra: I would, I definitely can't wait to see that drop in price. It just feels like whenever you guys talk about surface pricing in particular, it's like, well, yes, that's the tablet. So, yes, it's $999, but you have to add another $140 or $180 or $350 for the Flex to actually make it a useful computer. So, I feel like that just fudges with the way we talk about pricing around these things. So, I'm hoping Microsoft is just aware. And I feel like, I don't know, I feel like it would be easier to talk about these things with consumers and to sell them on it if they didn't have to think about like, oh, I got to add this to the price. I have to buy a Surface Pen. I have to do all this other stuff. It seems like the Surface experience has always been a little too complicated rather than You buy a MacBook, you know, Pavan: The $999 comment versus a MacBook. Specifically, the surface laptops are $999 is a full laptop experience. And it is a, you know, I think, in fact, there's more in that laptop feature set wise, performance wise, touch screens and so on. That is an easy AP compare. You're right. Surface Pro is a unique two in one device for sure. And you do need the attach for the peripherals. Yep. Devindra: Okay. So we're here. We're also talking about Copilot Plus and all the AI stuff. I'm wondering, you know, we seek recall. We see Windows Studio FX and you guys are showing off some partner stuff. How useful is that within the next year? How useful are the AI features for people within the next year on these existing machines? Pavan: The Copilot+ machines. Yes. Okay, great. So you're gonna, if you're at Build tomorrow, you're going to hear a lot more about us talking about the breadth of the ecosystem there. Let me maybe think about it in a couple of slices. So obviously Copilot Plus PCs now The operating system itself has a bunch of new AI superpowers, for lack of a better word. And those are built into the operating system, and they're powered by these models. There are a set of Microsoft Inbox apps that will take advantage of these capabilities. That can, that'll show up in a variety of different ways. We talked about painted photos, essentially. Those are using on device image gen models, essentially diffusion class models. You saw live translation. That is a way to go think about, you know, communication. Certainly, we've made Windows Studio effects available in the Service Pro X, I think, generation of time to start with. We've built on that. You'll, you'll see us doubling down on that. You'll get a lot more by way of real time camera and audio stacks getting enhanced and supercharged by AI. And then we introduced this notion of a Windows Copilot runtime, because we now do have a targeted environment for developers to go use to build AI apps on top of them. In fact, I would tell you in my iteration now, I see more excitement from Windows developers, both web apps and, you know, native Windows apps, if you will. Excitement about adding AI capabilities, because we are now building the tools for them to get them access to the breadth of the ecosystem. And to do it in a way where you can either take advantage of it. Like, you can get AI powers without having to have a bunch of, you know, AI scientists and model engineers and so on and so forth because we're building, you know, APIs and DDI interfaces that, you know, services built on top of the models that we have in box. So you don't have to be an AI person to take advantage of AI in your app. We're also giving the other end of the spectrum. People can bring their own models. They can, you know, we have stores, infrastructure for deploying them, managing them. And so somebody wants to, you know, go build a, you know, rag vector index in Windows in the future. Absolutely impossible. Devindra: Gotcha. I just want to take this audio file and dump it in Windows, have it edit the audio for me, get it podcast ready and transcribe it. I want that. I hopefully, I'm hoping that comes soon. Feature noted. Pavan: Okay. Love it. Devindra: Thank you so much, Pavan. Pavan: Devindra, a pleasure as always. I'm grateful for the time. Thank you.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/engadget-podcast-microsofts-surface-and-windows-head-on-copilot-ai-pcs-193938281.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 20:52:19| Engadget

Twitch has updated its filtering tools to allow the exclusion of livestreams that feature mature themes, like sexual, violent and profane content. In other words, you wont have to sift through hundreds of gross streams just to find someone innocently drinking soda pop and playing through Hades 2. These new filter settings let people opt out of specific content labels, per the platforms recently-introduced Content Classification Guidelines. These guidelines require creators to appropriately label livestreams if they include stuff like sexual imagery, depictions of violence, gambling, excessive profanity and drug use. These labels also apply when streaming mature-rated games. This will allow for a more curated experience, as people will be able to hide entire categories when searching for something to watch. Previously, these content labels were only used as data points to help Twitch users make informed viewing decisions. Twitch The content classification filters are found in profile settings under Content Display Preferences. Once turned on, the filters will apply to all recommendations and search results, in addition to streams that pop up when aimlessly browsing. The system will remember preferred filter adjustments, so it should be a one-and-done trip to the settings page. For those under 18, Twitch automatically applies the vast majority of these filter settings. Theres also another semi-related tool rolling out today. Preview thumbnails can now be blurred for streams labeled as having sexual themes. This feature will be turned on by default and can be toggled on or off via settings. However, if you follow a channel the thumbnail wont be blurred, even if your classification labels rule out sexual content. Twitch has been trying to nail down its policies regarding sexual content for a while now. It recently opened up the platform to nudity, as long as it was properly labeled, before changing its mind. Currently, the platform requires streamers to cover up their buttocks, genitals and (for female-presenting streamers) the nipples and underbust areas. Visible outlines of genitals are also prohibited, though all of this is liable to change.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/twitch-introduces-new-filtering-tools-that-lets-you-exclude-sexual-and-violent-content-185219488.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 20:37:58| Engadget

Pixar is losing around 175 of its workers amid a Disney cost-cutting drive. It was reported as far back as January that layoffs were planned for the digital animation pioneer and the studio's headcount is being reduced by around 14 percent. According to The Guardian, the downsizing is part of moves to scale back on development of original shows and movies for Disney+ as the company tries to make its streaming division more profitable. As such, Pixar is expected to once again focus entirely on making theatrical feature films. Although it was once an ultra-reliable hit factory, Pixar has had a rough go of things over the last few years. Disney has suggested it was a mistake to have "trained" viewers to expect that Pixar movies will eventually come to Disney+ (where it debuted Soul, Luca and Turning Red after Covid-19 prompted theater closures). That may have played a role in Toy Story spin-off Lightyear failing to meet box office expectations. While last years Elemental became a word-of-mouth hit after a slow start, it ultimately earned far less than many of previous Pixar smashes. Pixar will be hoping it can start to turn the corner next month when it releases Inside Out 2, the sequel to one of its very best films. Disneys animated division as a whole is focusing more on franchises Toy Story, Frozen, Zootopia and Moana sequels are all set to arrive over the next few years.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/disney-is-laying-off-around-175-pixar-workers-as-it-pulls-back-on-original-streaming-shows-183757404.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 20:02:43| Engadget

Samsung was among the Microsoft hardware partners unveiling AI-powered PCs on Monday. If you pre-order the companys Galaxy Book4 Edge, which uses Qualcomms Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor to run AI models locally, you can get a free 50-inch Samsung Crystal UHD TV as a bonus. The Galaxy Book4 Edge supports the Windows Copilot+ features Microsoft announced on Monday, including Recall (an AI-powered photographic memory for everything you do on your PC) and Cocreator image generation. It processes these AI features locally, so your data wont leave your device. The laptop comes in several variants, starting at $1,350. That entry-level price gets you a 14-inch model with a base Snapdragon X Elite processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Although Samsung accepts trade-ins when you buy the laptop, you can only get the free TV when you buy the Galaxy Book at its full price. Of course, if you return it, youll need to send the TV back, too, or youll have to pay its full $380 price. The Galaxy Book4 Edge also comes in 16-inch variants. The base model in that size ($1,450) has the same entry-level Snapdragon X Elite processor (3.4GHz) and 512GB storage as the smaller variant. Meanwhile, a higher-end ($1,750) version, exclusive to the 16-inch model, uses a 3.8GHz variant of Qualcomms processor and gives you 1TB of storage. Samsung The 50-inch TV has a $380 retail price, making the pre-order offer quite the free perk. It has a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution and supports 4K upscaling, HDR and up to a 60Hz refresh rate. Youll see the television added to your purchase when you pre-order the Galaxy Book4 Edge from Samsungs website. Samsung says the promotion is limited to one per customer and is only available while supplies last. The laptop will start shipping on June 18. 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/pre-order-samsungs-first-copilot-laptop-and-get-a-free-50-inch-4k-tv-180242771.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 19:34:14| Engadget

Weve all been there. You see something cool on Kickstarter. Its reasonably priced and made by reputable folks. You fully intend on backing it, but life gets in the way and the campaign ends, leaving you out in the cold. Kickstarter just solved this very specific problem by continuing to allow financial backing after a campaign finishes. The new tool is appropriately-named Late Pledge and will only be available to creators who hit their initial goal. Its been in the testing phase since April and Kickstarters says it has allowed creators to raise an additional 35 percent over that initial goal, according to reporting by TechCrunch. Late Pledge has exited the testing phase and is now available to all creators worldwide. This is good for creators, good for backers and, of course, good for Kickstarter, as users wont have to head to a third-party payment platform when a campaign has ended. The company has also announced a new in-house marketing unit to help creators promote their campaigns. Kickstarter says that this team provides support every step of the way, from creative services and pre-launch marketing support to ad measurement and execution. This service has been in the testing phase for a while and has helped creators raise around $1 million in additional pledges. Theres more to come. Kickstarter unveiled a more robust survey tool for reward fulfillment purposes and announced the forthcoming ability to pay for shipping and tax via the mobile app.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/kickstarter-now-allows-late-pledges-after-a-campaign-has-ended-173414742.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

2024-05-21 18:48:33| Engadget

Comcast didn't wait too long to reveal how much its bundle of Netflix, Apple TV+ and Peacock Premium will cost or when Xfinity users can sign up for it. The StreamSaver bundle, which was announced a week ago, will run you $15 per month and it will be available next week. You won't quite get the best version of all the services, though. The bundle includes Netflix Basic and Peacock Premium, both of which include ads. That Netflix tier also only supports HD streaming rather than 4K. There's only one tier of Apple TV+ available, and that includes 4K streams. In any case, the bundle will save you $10 per month compared with signing up for those services separately, given that Peacock Premium will increase by $2 to $8 per month in July. Netflix Basic with ads is $7 per month, while Apple TV+ is $10. If you're interested in signing up for Now TV (which includes more than 60 linear streaming channels such as AMC and the History Channel), you can also add that to StreamSaver. The cable-esque Now StreamSaver bundle is $30 per month. Now TV alone typically costs $20 per month, though it includes Peacock Premium. This is the latest instance of streaming rivals coming together to offer their services at a lower price, but Comcast is beating a previously announced bundle of Max, Disney+ and Hulu to the punch. That bundle is set to arrive this summer. Meanwhile, a package combining sports streaming services from Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery will arrive later this year. The name of the joint venture was recently revealed as Venu Sports.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/comcasts-bundle-of-netflix-apple-tv-and-peacock-premium-costs-15-per-month-164833844.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising
 

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