Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Kashmiri Protest Against Israeli Military Operations In Gaza

17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin from Virginia will spend the next 11 years and 4 months in a federal penitentiary for his role in running the powerful pro-ISIS Twitter account, @Amreekiwitness. This account collected and disseminated ISIS propaganda to more than 4,000 followers and shared instructions for using Bitcoin to secretly fund the terrorist organization. Amin also admitted to helping one of the account's followers to travel to Syria and join the group. That follower has since been arrested and is facing federal prosecution as well on a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism charge.

Lionsgate and two long-time Marvel producers are working on a Borderlands movie and, no, it's not called Mad Max. Lionsgate is the production company behind Twilight, The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, Warm Bodies and tons of other mainstream flicks, while producers Ari and Avi Arad have worked on the Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man franchises. Borderlands is a massively popular sci-fi action series that debuted in 2009 under the direction of Gearbox Software and Take-Two Interactive. It takes place on Pandora, an abandoned mining planet, and the games involve crass humor, alien beasts, a class-based RPG system a ridiculous number of guns (16 million, in fact).

Drones are playing an ever-expanding role in modern warfare, so it's no surprise companies like Boeing are developing news ways to shoot them out of the sky. Its last laser was the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) -- a huge weapon mounted to the top of a truck -- and now it's touting something more portable. The Compact Laser Weapons System fits in four suitcase-sized boxes and can be mounted onto a tripod. It looks like a giant camera and, like the HEL MD, uses an Xbox 360 controller for targeting. As soon as you're in range though, the system can automatically take over and track the UAV, making sure you get a clean shot. Wired reports that, in one of Boeing's demos, it only took two seconds at full power to set a drone aflame.

Must Reads

  • WSJ: Amazon axes hardware projects after Fire Phone failure

    An Amazon exec revealed last year that the company's continuing to develop more Fire phones despite the first one's failure to sell. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, that might not happen anytime soon: Amazon's shelving future phone plans, among other projects, and has even laid off a...

    0 Comments
  • Microsoft renders for flagship Lumia phones leaked online

    If you've been wanting to see the two high-end Windows phones Microsoft has been developing, then you don't have to wait until the official launch. Evleaks has posted the renders for both devices on Twitter: the larger, cyan one with a 5.7-inch screen is known as codename Cityman, while the black phone...

    0 Comments

We've already been introduced to the world of Lawbreakers, the next shooter from the Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski, but now we've got our first look at some actual gameplay. And while the science behind the game's setting may be suspect (it's a fantastical take on Earth after we've blown up the moon), the game's mechanics seem solid. It's a class-based multiplayer shooter, similar to Titanfall and Team Fortress, that will also be free-to-play on a variety of platforms (we still don't have specifics). The trailer introduces some of those classes (and their respective characters): there's the swift Assassin Kitsune, who can double-jump; Breacher, a gunner who has the unique ability to shoot behind him; and a jetpack-wielding Skirmisher named Maverick. One character, a Titan named Cronos, can also rocket-jump, bringing back fond memories of Bleszinski's work on Unreal Tournament. Judging from this trailer, Lawbreakers looks like plenty of other shooters, but its unique take on character classes and Bleszinski's pedigree make it one to keep an eye on.

The Pentagon

The Pentagon wants to use wearables for more than just tracking steps. It's pouring $75 million over the next five years into the FlexTech Alliance -- a group made of 162 separate organizations, including Apple, Boeing and Harvard -- to create a "Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics." That may sound like a mouthful, but basically it will explore new ways soldiers can use advanced wearable tech. The findings could even make their way to military ships and aircrafts to monitor their structural integrity in realtime, Reuters reports. Additional funding from other companies and local governments will bring the total investment of the project up to $171 million. "I've been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement today. "Now we're taking another step forward."

Huawei may have accidentally revealed that its Android Wear Watch will cost as much as $799.99 and be compatible with iOS. Earlier today, the company teased a September 2nd arrival at IFA 2015 via Twitter, but a tipster pointed us to a legit-looking Amazon listing that shows four flavors of the wearable. The basic version in stainless steel starts at $349.99 with a leather strap, but the highest-end model in gold-plated stainless steel goes for $799.99, making it one of the pricier Android Wear devices out there. Intriguingly, the listing also mentions that the Watch is compatible with iOS 8.2 or later devices.

Hasbro is hoping you'd be willing to share your best party game idea ever(!) with the company and has launched a search for the "Next Great Game." The mechanics are simple: just go to the project website and submit an entry -- along the same lines as Monopoly, some variants of Trivial Pursuit and Funny or Die -- until September 30th, 2015. After that, sit back, cross your fingers and hope that you're among the five finalists announced on October 30th. Now, here's the twist: you're not getting any prize money even if you end up as one of the five. Instead, you'll be invited to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for your concept.

Ashley Madison

Noel Biderman, the CEO of Avid Life Media, the company behind the extra-marital dating site Ashley Madison, is stepping down from his position "in mutual agreement with the company." In a statement released today, Avid says Noel Biderman the change "is in the best interest of the company." The decision comes after the site was hacked, revealing the identity of millions of potentially infidelious members.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was a hit in 2013 when it was just a multiplayer, neon-streaked demo mixed in with all of the nominated, blockbuster indie titles at the Independent Games Festival. Lovers was up for an award in Visual Art, and even though it lost to Kentucky Route Zero, the nomination was enough to create buzz around the game and its studio, Asteroid Base. At the time, co-creator Jamie Tucker felt confident that Lovers would be done within the year. Now, two years later, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is set to debut on Xbox One and Steam on September 9th. Yes, in 2015. We asked Tucker via email what happened with Lovers' development timeline and he broke it all down -- including details that offer a glimpse at the real rigors and lucky breaks of game development.

Microphone

Last week, the internet was awash with journalists' interpretations of Spotify's new privacy policy. Depending on whom you ask, the policy was eerie, creepy or just downright atrocious. While Spotify scrambled to reassure us that it wasn't really interested in snooping through your photos or tracking your every move, people publicly quit the service, argued with its CEO and generally hated on the company. Such public outcries are now commonplace. But what is it about the industry that evokes such an endemic distrust? Why are we so quick to believe they're out to do us harm? Aaron Souppouris and Devindra Hardawar try to get the bottom of the matter. Or at least argue about it.

top of a windmill on blue sky

Researchers have completed a novel study that may help the wind farm industry avoid protected golden eagle habitats. Wind turbine blades reportedly kill up to 300,000 birds per year in US, which is admittedly a small percentage compared to those killed by your cat. Still, the golden eagle is particularly susceptible, considering that around 100 individuals were killed last year by a single wind farm in Altamont, California -- and there are only 500 breeding pairs in the state. The new study posits a simple idea: Why not plot both golden eagle habitats and the areas with the best wind farm potential, and make sure the areas don't intersect?

NASA-funded research has created a material that could self-heal in seconds. Two layers of solid polymer sandwich a gel that with an ingredient that solidifies on contact with air (i.e. when one or both of the outer layers is damaged). This differs from other approaches that rely on a mostly-liquid compound, or similar, slower techniques. The protective applications in space craft (like the ISS) are obvious, and could add a vital line of defense against dangerous debris. The ISS already has shields to protect it, but reactive armour in the event of damage would be even more reassuring. Back down here on earth, the same material could be used in cars, pips, containers and even phones (beyond scratches). Watch the material get shot and self-heal in the video below.

Today on In Case You Missed It, Usain Bolt may be the "fastest man on Earth" but he can't outrun a cameraman on a Segway. An amatuer drone pilot stumbles across a sunbather 200 feet above the ground. NASA puts its 3D-printed rocket engine pump through a grueling series of tests. The UK showcases its amphibious weedwhacker and some delightfully demented genius has recreated the Pokemon theme song within Grand Theft Auto V.

If you come across any interesting videos, we'd love to see them. Just tweet us with the #ICYMI hashtag @engadget or @mskerryd. And if you just want to heap praise on your handsome guest host, feel free to hit him up @mr_trout.

US-BUSINESS-SPRINT

DirecTV and AT&T are sitting in that proverbial tree, but that isn't going to stop any telecom competitors from throwing rocks their way. Case in point: Sprint is running a promo that gives DirecTV customers a year of free cell service by switching to the Now Network. Of course you need to either be a new customer or adding an additional line of service through the telco, and even then it has to be either a Sprint Lease, iPhone Forever, Easy Pay or you have to cough up full retail price for a phone to take advantage of this. If you qualify for this sweet action you'll need to upload your recent satellite bill to the carrier's website. A $36 activation fee applies as do taxes and service charges that accrue on a monthly basis. Should you want in on this deal it'd be wise to hurry as it ends September 30th.

Inside The 2015 E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo

The Xbox One is a large console, but it seems Microsoft is in no rush to unveil a slimmer model. The company was rumored to be launching an "Xbox One Mini" in October, but Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, has shot down the idea on Twitter. His "not real" statement is pretty definitive, although of course, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't planning a redesign for a later date. Although the Xbox One's sales are behind the PlayStation 4, it has a slew of exclusives coming out this fall including Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider (okay, that last one is actually a timed exclusive). If Microsoft is working on a "Mini" model, it's more likely to appear at somewhere like E3 next year.

Mirrativ

Japanese mobile game company DeNA has launched an app called Mirrativ that lets you livestream anything and everything that's happening on your phone. Think of the app as a mix of Periscope and Twitch -- yes, there are plenty of ways to stream your face and your games to the world, but with Mirrativ you're not limited to just either-or. DeNA is also targeting a broader range of uses than just gaming. What else might you like to stream? Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, DeNA's Junichi Akagawa says that users could perhaps browse online stores while seeking "shopping advice" from followers, or read news articles and share their thoughts on the topics.

Android Auto developers now have way to try out their apps without spending lots on an actual head unit or entire car. The Android Auto Desktop Unit (DHU) runs on your Windows, OS X or Linux desktop and works in conjunction with the companion app on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Installing it is a bit of a rigmarole and you'll need to connect your Android device via a USB cable, but you probably already know that if you're a developer. Once you've compiled and installed your app, it'll "behave as if it's connected to a car," according to Google.

Google has transformed Android search for apps and now displays the results in a pictorial, grid-like fashion. For instance, searching for "music apps" (either in Now or a browser) brings up the above grid, and clicking on a given app will take you straight to Google Play, as you'd expect. The feature, spotted by Android Police, appears to have rolled out over the last few days. Regular search results are still displayed below, but the grid images take up the entire first page, in much the same way as Google's Knowledge Graph. It only works on Android, so far -- doing a similar search on iOS yields a regular app list with the option to install.

While there are already a handful of connected wearables for kids in the market, here's one with a more complete set of features. Courtesy of Chinese tech giant Tencent, this QQ Watch comes with a 1.12-inch 128 x 128 OLED screen, IP65 ruggedness, an SOS call button and its very own 2G radio. More importantly, though, the tracking functionality uses GPS, WiFi and cellular triangulation simultaneously for higher accuracy. There's even a 0.3-megapixel camera on board, and since the watch can be hooked up to WeChat, lost kids can send photos to their parents as an extra clue for locating them. Battery life? It's good for up to five days, apparently, after which you can charge up the watch with its magnetic connector. There's no word on the pricing just yet, but a company rep said it'll be "very affordable," and it'll launch in China in October, followed by global rollout before end of the year.

After pushing out updates that focus on making its visuals better, Vine (for iOS and Android) is getting a major upgrade that introduces a bunch of new music features. The one that sounds most useful for creators, especially if you need a bit of help to quickly edit tracks for posting, is "Snap to Beat." Once you switch it on, the app can find the perfect part of the song to create a never-ending music loop with. You can, however, disable it anytime to add sound effects or to customize your BGM. In case you want to use a popular song, though, just click the app's music note icon to access a new scrollable Featured Tracks section full of well-known singles you can add straight to your six-second videos.