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‘Pokémon Go’ gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects

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Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go players may see a new tag marking some PokéStops next time they check the app. Niantic has officially launched AR Mapping tasks for level 20 Trainers and up, almost five months after the company announced that it’s launching the feature. When they spin a PokéStop marked with the “AR Mapping” tag, they’ll get a Field Research task that will require them to open the AR scanning screen and to explore the area.

Niantic first announced that it’s working on a PokéStop Scan feature back in May in an effort to improve Pokémon Go’s augmented reality effects. By getting players to scan locations, the developer will get what it needs to be able to create 3D maps of PokéStops. They can then use that data to make critters interact with real—world objects, so they can hide behind a tree trunk instead of just float in front of it. Niantic started testing the better AR effects feature called “Reality Blending” back in May, as well, though it’s limited to users with certain newer Android phones.

The developer says good scans last 20 to 30 seconds and keep the PokéStop in the center of the frame. It’s also encouraging users to walk a full 360 degrees around the location. Niantic Kids accounts won’t have access to the feature yet, even for level 20 Trainers — that’s most likely a good thing, since there’s still a pandemic happening — but parents will get the option to toggle it on in the future.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Make your time at home fantastic with five highly-rated apps

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StackCommerce

Time at home, something we’ve all had plenty of this year, is an opportunity like no other. It can also be challenging and mundane, especially for people with stale entertainment and self-development options. Sound familiar?

If so, The Epic Entertainment at Home App Bundle Ft. TIDAL may be the answer to helping you make the most of your time since it gives you instant access to five highly-reviewed apps for media streaming, language learning and browsing. Upon purchase, this bundle provides you with subscriptions to TIDAL, Elmedia, Kast, Memrise and VPN Unlimited.

TIDAL is an artist-owned global music streaming and entertainment platform. You can stream over 60 million tracks on unlimited devices with TIDAL, without any intrusive advertisements, and get closer to your favorite artists than ever before. Unlike other music streaming services, TIDAL features unique original content and exclusive experiences from top artists like Coldplay, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris and more.

Up next is Elmedia, which is a full-package media player for Mac that features advanced streaming capabilities. With this app, you can stream Ultra HD audio and video files on any 4K compatible device. Alongside that, you also get Kast — a real-time video-sharing app that’s the ultimate place to watch together, play together and be together. This app empowers you to host movie nights, virtual dinners and house parties and so much more.

When you’re not having fun with friends and family, you can occupy yourself by learning a new language with Memrise. Memrise Language Learning offers 22 languages to choose from, adapts to every individual and creates a learning path that provides you with just the right level of challenge. Hence, you stay motivated and make progress faster. Finally, VPN Unlimited lets you regain control over your digital life with full security and anonymity online. Add it to your cybersecurity toolkit and enjoy a massive selection of servers worldwide, a wide variety of VPN protocols and much more to keep hackers out of your sensitive data. 

Subscriptions included:

  • TIDAL Streaming Music Premium: 1-Yr Subscription

  • Elmedia Player PRO: Lifetime Subscription

  • Kast TV Premium: 1-Yr Subscription

  • Memrise Language Learning: Lifetime Subscription

  • VPN Unlimited: Lifetime Subscription

Time at home, something we’re all starting to tire of these days, can become a fun and self-enriching experience with the apps by your side. Usually $538, The Epic Entertainment at Home App Bundle Ft. TIDAL is on sale for a limited time for $190, 64% off its original cost.

Prices are subject to change.

Engadget is teaming up with StackSocial to bring you deals on the latest headphones, gadgets, tech toys, and tutorials. This post does not constitute editorial endorsement, and we earn a portion of all sales. If you have any questions about the products you see here or previous purchases, please contact StackSocial support here.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/highly-rated-apps-subscriptions-185557167.html

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Google’s 360-degree tours will live on in the Arts & Culture app

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Google Arts & Culture
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During the heyday of Google’s VR push back in 2015, the company launched Expeditions. The software allowed teachers to take their classrooms on virtual field trips to far-away locales and distant eras of human history with the help of Google Cardboard. Moving forward, you won’t need to be a student to access the tours — nor will you need a VR headset, for that matter. Google is adding the majority of its existing 360-degree tours to its Arts & Culture platform, where you’ll be able to access them for free.

With the feature making its way to Google Arts & Culture, the company plans to shutter the standalone Expeditions app. After June 30th, 2021, it will no longer be available to download. Google says it came to this decision in light of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected teaching throughout the world. 

“We’ve heard and recognize that immersive experiences with VR headsets are not always accessible to all learners and even more so this year, as the transition to hybrid learning has presented challenges for schools to effectively use Expeditions,” the company said.

However, just as likely at play here is the fact that Google has all but abandoned phone-based VR over the last few years. Starting with the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, none of the company’s recent phones have supported its Daydream View headset. Over a few months last year, the company also shut down both its Spotlight Stories VR studio and Jump VR platform. But when you get down to it, this is a positive development for Expeditions. As the company itself points out, moving the experience to the Arts & Culture app makes it more accessible to a greater number of people.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/google-arts-and-culture-expeditions-183056532.html

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This week’s best deals: $194 AirPods Pro and more early Black Friday deals

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Billy Steele / Engadget

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. If you buy something through one of the links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of the time of publication but are subject to change.

Early Black Friday sales are in full swing as we approach Thanksgiving, but the thing about 2020 sales is that many of them aren’t lasting long. Best Buy and Walmart have had a number of one-day or two-day sales since the month began — while those are great opportunities to cross items off your list, you’ll have to wait for (hopefully) the next time those prices come around if you miss them the first time.

While most of the sales in Best Buy’s Single’s Day sale earlier this week have expired, there continue to be other deals you can snag right now. Apple’s AirPods Pro remain at a new all-time low on Amazon, Razer gaming peripherals are deeply discounted and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is on sale yet again. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today.

AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro remain at their lowest price ever on Amazon, only $194. If you like the idea of AirPods but want buds with better sound quality or a better fit, the Pros are the ones for you. We gave them a score of 87 for their solid audio and ANC quality, IPX4 water resistance and hands-free Siri capabilities.

Buy AirPods Pro on Amazon – $194

iPad mini

Apple iPad mini

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A specced-out version of Apple’s smallest iPad is 25 percent off at Amazon. The 256GB iPad mini with WiFi and LTE is down to $512.28, which is much more affordable than its normal $679 price. We gave the mini a score of 85 for its compact design, solid performance and battery life and new support for the 1st-generation Apple Pencil.

Buy iPad mini at Amazon – $512.28

iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro

Chris Velazco / Engadget

You can save $100 on a powerful model of Apple’s iPad Pro right now. The 256GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro is down to $999, which is a new record low (the base 128GB model is $60 off, but it has been around that price for some time now). We gave the latest iPad Pros a score of 83 for their excellent performance, support for the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil, newfound trackpad support and new LiDAR sensor.

Buy 12.9-inch iPad Pro (256GB) at Amazon – $999 Buy 12.9-inch iPad Pro (128GB) at Amazon – $940

Razer peripherals

Razer Basilisk X Hyperspeed gaming mouse

Razer

Razer’s running an early Black Friday sale on Amazon through November 15 that discounts some of its most popular gaming mice, keyboards and more. Our favorites from the sale include the BlackWidow Elite mechanical keyboard for $85, the Basilisk X HyperSpeed mouse for $40 and the Viper wired mouse for $40.

Buy BlackWidow Elite at Amazon – $85 Buy Basilisk X HyperSpeed at Amazon – $40 Buy Viper mouse at Amazon – $40

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Kris Naudus / Engadget

Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller is a great alternative to the standard Joy-Cons and now it’s down to $59, which is $10 off its normal price. While that isn’t a huge discount, this controller doesn’t often go on sale — and this is the lowest price it’s ever been. We like the level of control it gives you when you’re playing games like Breath of the Wild. Amazon and Walmart also have a couple of solid Switch games on sale, including BioShock: The Collection for $25 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for $50.

Buy Pro Controller at Amazon – $59 Buy Pro Controller at Walmart – $59

Buy BioShock at Amazon – $25 Buy BioShock at Walmart – $25

Buy Animal Crossing at Amazon – $50 Buy Animal Crossing at Walmart – $50

Best Buy Nintendo Switch games sale

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

A new early Black Friday sale at Best Buy discounts a bunch of beloved Switch games. Both Fire Emblem: Three Houses and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe are down to $35, while Luigi’s Mansion 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening are on sale for $40. Amazon’s matching the sale prices on the latter games, so you can pick them up there if you prefer.

Buy Fire Emblem at Best Buy – $35 Buy Super Mario Bros U Deluxe at Best Buy – $35 Buy Luigi’s Mansion 3 at Best Buy – $40 Buy Link’s Awakening at Best Buy – $40

Buy Luigi’s Mansion 3 at Amazon – $40 Buy Link’s Awakening at Amazon – $40

Eufy baby monitor

Eufy baby monitor

Anker

You’re still able to grab Eufy’s manual baby monitor for only $79 at Newegg when you use the code 9BFSTART98 at checkout. This cuts $50 off its price and brings it to a record low. We like Eufy’s Spaceview baby monitor and this is a manual version of that, which means you’ll have to pan and tilt the camera yourself before you check in on your baby. Otherwise, you’re still getting the 5-inch display monitor and this model has an even longer, 30-hour battery life.

Buy Eufy baby monitor at Newegg – $79

Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatches

Garmin Fenix 6 smartwatches

Garmin

Wellbots discounted all of Garmin’s Fenix 6 smartwatches by $150, bringing the cheapest of the bunch down to $449. The Fenix family is designed for serious athletes, triathletes and those who spend a ton of time outdoors. Not only do they have things like heart rate monitors, built-in GPS, blood oxygen sensors and more, but they also track dozens of workout profiles, support Garmin’s Live Track feature and include Garmin Pay.

Shop Fenix 6 sale at Wellbots

Buy Fenix 6 at Wellbots – $449 Buy Fenix 6S at Wellbots – $449

Arturia Black Friday sale

Arturia

Arturia

Arturia kicked off its Black Friday sale this week by slashing 50 percent off some of its music software. The sale runs through December 3, and you can get Pigments for $99, FX Collection for $199 and V Collection for $249.

Shop Arturia Black Friday sale

New deal additions

Microsoft Surface Go

The Surface Go laptop with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD (in sandstone only) is $749 right now, down from $899. We gave this laptop a score of 82 for its thin and light design, lovely display and good performance as an affordable Windows device. Just keep in mind that Microsoft’s own Black Friday sales start next week, so you may be able to pick up this up for even less if you hold out a bit longer.

Buy Surface Go at Amazon – $749 Buy Surface Pro 7 at Amazon – $849

Fully sale

The standing-desk maker Fully is having a sale on most items on its website, including the popular Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk. The aforementioned starts at $475 in this sale, which is $84 less than its normal starting price. Engadget’s Nicole Lee recently bought this standing desk and has enjoyed it — but she was even more impressed with Fully’s customer service. Other items of note in this sale are the Cooper Standing Desk Converter, which now starts at $254, and the Remi Standing Desk, which is down to $382.

Shop Fully’s sale

JBL Cinema 610 Advanced Speaker System

JBL’s having a sale on its Cinema 610 speaker system that drops it from $400 to $170. That’s 57 percent off and a great deal if you want to get a movie-theater-like audio experience at home without building your own sound system setup from scratch. This pack comes with a bass reflex, 60W subwoofer and five identical satellite speakers.

Buy Cinema 610 speaker system at JBL – $170

Aukey 3-in-1 wireless charging station

If you live in Apple’s ecosystem and want a wireless charger that can handle all of your devices at once, Aukey’s 3-in-1 station should do the trick. It has neat spaces for your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods — all able to charge wirelessly at the same time. If you clip the 10-percent coupon on the product page and use the code R8KS354M at checkout, you’ll get the charging station for $20.29.

Buy Aukey 3-in-1 charging station at Amazon – $20.29

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/weekly-deals-apple-airpods-pro-ipad-mini-ipad-pro-early-black-friday-deals-181528477.html

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Facebook is using AI to help its content moderators

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POLAND - 2020/11/04: In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Facebook has relied on AI to help its content moderation efforts for awhile and today the company shared the latest way in which machine learning is making the thankless task easier. The Verge reported that the social network is now using machine learning to prioritize posts in a queue that human moderators need to go through.

Before the new AI was implemented, the queue was mostly sorted chronologically in the order the posts were reported. This could slow down the company’s response time to more urgent cases while moderators are making their way through earlier posts. With the new method, the system will use a few machine learning algorithms to prioritize flagged content based on “their virality, severity and the likelihood they’re breaking the rules.”

The company previously stated that it’s taken action against 9.6 million pieces of content in the first quarter of 2020 — a significant increase over the 5.7 million in the quarter prior. While some of those posts are obvious enough to lead to automatic blocking or removal, the rest are entered into a queue for human moderators to evaluate. The process of determining if content is harmful can lead to mental health issues, and earlier this year Facebook settled a case with about 11,000 of its moderators with a $52 million payout. It also promised to update its content moderation software, muting audio by default and showing videos in black and white.

With Facebook continuing to be the forum by which many people in the world communicate with their friends and family, its ability to react to fake and hateful content is crucial to keeping its platform safe.

In this article: facebook, ai, social media, gear
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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