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2024-06-13 22:34:25| Engadget

HBO has announced that House of the Dragon will be back for a third season. The network confirmed the renewal of the Game of Thrones spinoff series in a press release just three days ahead of its Season 2 premiere. George [R.R. Martin], Ryan [Condal] and the rest of our incredible executive producers, cast and crew have reached new heights with the phenomenal second season of House of the Dragon, Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming and head of HBO Drama Series and Films, said in the press release. HBO hasnt revealed any details about the third season of House of the Dragon, nor has it given a release window. Still, its not uncommon in the streaming era for networks like HBO to renew shows for future seasons before upcoming seasons go live, like The Last of Us. Last year, Orsi told Deadline that House of the Dragon may have more than four seasons. She added that Martin, whose book Fire & Blood inspired the spin-off series, and showrunner Condal were going to discuss where to end the show before the writers strike started. That strike ended on September 23, 2023 with the Writers Guild of America reaching an agreement on protections against generative AI. The renewal also comes two days after Martin confirmed in a blog post that HBO is moving forward with another Game of Thrones spin-off, Ten Thousand Ships. He wrote that playwright Eboni Booth is working on a new pilot for the prequel about Queen Nymeria and the Rhoynar after the show was previously scrapped.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/house-of-the-dragon-renewed-for-season-3-ahead-of-season-2-premiere-203425819.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 21:15:19| Engadget

WhatsApp is upgrading its video-calling chops. The Meta-owned platform is enhancing its calls with a new screen-sharing feature, a higher participant count and a speaker spotlight to try to make the platform a more viable competitor to Zoom, FaceTime and Google Meet. Screen sharing could be handy for watching videos together, sharing content that isnt easily shareable or troubleshooting your parents devices. It also allows for audio sharing, so you can easily chat with others while looking at their screen. WhatsApp also expanded its participant count to 32 people on video calls. The new cap applies to all platforms. Its a significant boost from the previous limit of eight people, first rolled out in 2020 as pandemic lockdowns kicked into full gear. Speaker spotlight is another tweak in WhatsApps update (which is already a standard feature on many other calling platforms). In a group call, the person talking appears first in the row of participants, and their picture is highlighted, making it easier to identify who has the proverbial mic. WhatsApp also highlighted its recent switch to the MLow codec for clearer calls. The new compression should clean up noise and echo cancellation, which is handy for noisy environments. Also, video calls will stream in a higher resolution if your network is fast enough to support it.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/whatsapp-rolls-out-enhanced-video-calling-191519808.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 21:00:39| Engadget

Jabra has been a mainstay in the true wireless earbuds category since 2018, but it wont be any longer. Shortly after revealing two new products in its Elite lineup this week, parent company GN announced that it was shutting down its consumer earbud business to focus on other audio devices. The news was a shock given the timing and quickly put a damper on any excitement around the second-generation Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active. This announcement by GN is in an effort to concentrate resources and efforts on Jabra's enterprise products within audio, including enterprise-grade true wireless earbuds, as well as video and OTC hearing devices, a Jabra spokesperson told Engadget. While this puts a stop to the long-term development of the Elite and Talk product lines, it does not mean product names will cease to exist and the existing products will continue to be available. Customers will be able to buy them in the usual online and retail channels, as well as Jabra.com, and products will be supported throughout their lifetime, as normal. Jabra wasnt the first company to make true wireless earbuds, but it was among the first to make a lasting impression. In 2018, it debuted the Elite 65t, the first set of its kind that I felt was truly compelling. Jabras version was smaller and therefore more comfortable than its rivals. They also offered better sound quality and more reliable connectivity than a lot of their existing competition. With subsequent releases, the company revised its formula, assisted consistently by its parent company. GNs decades of expertise in hearing aids provided helpful insights for Jabras true wireless products, especially when it came to ergonomic design. Jabra was among the first to drastically reduce the size of its buds, while some of the competition still struggles to balance size and fit even today. Jabra Elite 75t and Elite 65t.Billy Steele for Engadget Jabra seemed to carve out a niche for itself with earbuds that offered a full set of features at prices below its main rivals like Apple, Bose and Sony. And until around 2020, the company was successful in offering a compelling alternative to the big-name brands. At that time, many earbud companies were still trying to fine-tune their formulas to offer the most complete set of buds with the best performance. Jabras follow-up, the Elite 75t, was what I described as the leap from good to great. But even then, the 75t lacked active noise cancellation (ANC) despite a smaller, more comfortable design, improved sound and longer battery life. Ultimately, Jabra could never quite match the likes of Bose and Sony on ANC performance and overall audio quality. Despite this, Jabra was positioned fourth in the earbud market at the end of 2023, according to Global Market Insights. This put it behind Apple, Samsung and Sony in terms of overall market share. Jabra continued to expand its lineup with affordable alternatives that went as low as $80. Perhaps this extension contributed to its downfall: the company currently offers five different models as part of its lineup with significant overlap between some of them. GN explained this week that its re-focusing towards more premium true wireless products in 2023 with the Elite 10 and Elite 8 Active had led to a stronger profitability than before. However, it saw the writing on the wall: the earbud market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive. The company knows that the investment required to develop enough future innovation that would maintain its position wasnt sustainable. So, even on the heels of its latest Elite product launch, Jabra is bowing out. We have demonstrated that we can compete in even the most challenging categories, CEO of GN Store Nord Peter Karlstromer said in a statement. The markets, though, have changed over time, and it is today our assessment that we cannot generate a fair return on investment compared to the many other opportunities we have within our hearing, enterprise, and gaming businesses. Jabra Elite 10 (2nd gen)Jabra In what should be an exciting time for the company following the introduction of new models, Jabra is instead heading towards the end. The company has committed to supporting the products for several years, but I wouldnt expect any new features. Instead, were likely to see subtle updates aimed at maintenance rather than significant improvements. Its going to be a tough sell for your newly announced product when youre already packing up shop. Now, the company will focus on enterprise, over-the-counter hearing assistance and gaming devices. But that doesnt mean Jabra will stop making earbuds entirely. The company still believes in true wireless earbuds, even though it has realized the consumer market isnt a sustainable area for future investment. True wireless innovation is still at the core of many of Jabra's products, so the company will remain in the earbuds market through other product lines, a spokesperson explained. But, its time for the company to move on. Several releases after the Elite 65t, Jabra still isnt on par with Bose and Sony when it comes to noise-canceling abilities or overall sound quality. Not that it was ever far off, but it wasnt nipping at their heels either.  Jabra may have been one of the first to actually deliver a reliable set of true wireless earbuds, but it squandered that lead by failing to surpass the competition. It introduced conveniences like multipoint Bluetooth connectivity way ahead of its rivals, a feature that is now common among new products. Even its latest two models come with an LE Audio-transmitting case that will allow you to send sound from devices with a USB-C or 3.5mm jack. Not an industry first, but another area where the company is an early adopter. At some point along the way though, Jabras earbuds went from great to good. Not because they actually declined in quality, but because they just no longer stand out from the competition.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/so-long-jabra-earbuds-it-wasnt-your-fault-19003965.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 19:46:50| Engadget

Discord and Sony have announced that theyre rolling out the ability for PlayStation 5 owners to start Discord voice chats directly from their consoles. Discord was available on next-gen Sony consoles previously, albeit through a somewhat clunky process that required players to use the app on their phone or PC to manually transfer the call. When you want to start a Discord call, go to the Game Base in your PS5 Control Center and select the Discord tab. Once youre in, youll see a list of servers youre a part of, see whos in a voice channel and join it straightaway. Likewise, if someone else is trying to start a Discord call with you, you can join the call the minute your PS5 sends you that notification. Sony and Discord collaborated to bring the chat platform to PS5 and PS4 two years ago. Back then, users could only see what games their friends were playing. The new Discord voice chat feature will gradually roll out to PS5 consoles over the coming weeks, starting with Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. The Americas will be the last region to get it, but when that will be is unknown.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/discord-calls-on-ps5-will-soon-be-far-less-convoluted-174650032.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 19:15:07| Engadget

The Yahoo News app is now AI-assisted, thanks to the companys purchase of Artifact. Yahoo rolled out an update to its news aggregation app on Thursday with AI-powered personal feeds, key takeaways and the ability to flag clickbait headlines. In April, Yahoo (Engadgets parent company) bought the remains of Artifact, the AI-fueled news and recommendation app from Instagrams co-founders that shut down earlier this year. Todays update showcases how the technology can improve Yahoos news feed, which brings in over 180 million unique visitors every month in the US. The new Yahoo News, available now on mobile and later on desktop, starts by letting you pick topics and publishers of interest for its algorithms to customize your feed accordingly. One noteworthy feature is the ability to quickly glance at the Key Takeaways of a given story: a short bullet list of main ideas that (if you request it) appear at the top of an article to help save time. This is Yahoos version of Artifacts Summarize feature. You can further customize your feed by blocking keywords you want to avoid (like, say, NFT) or publishers whose content you dont like. Maybe the most intriguing feature is its ability to flag clickbait, which prompts the AI to rewrite headlines that are misleading, overly sensational or withholding critical information in hopes that youll click. (Yes, please.) In addition to the app, Yahoo is revamping its homepage layout. The updated UI emphasizes top news, personalized recommendations, and real-time trending topics and is designed to evolve over time. The company says you can opt in to receive access to new features (presumably, many AI-powered) as theyre introduced. If youre in the US, you can download the new Yahoo News app for iOS or Android today.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/yahoo-news-gets-an-ai-powered-overhaul-171507596.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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