Welcome to the weekend.
If you're missing the usual editor's letter then know that we are too, and the man that usually wrote it. After six years with Engadget Michael Gorman is moving on, but you can still find him at @numeson.
As for the rest of the weekend, expect to see many dispatches from the crew at SXSW 2017. Until then, we have Reggie Fils-Aime talking Switch issues an update on the Winklevii Bitcoin push and an uncomfortable truth about who powers the surveillance state highlighted by WikiLeaks.
If you've been on the internet this week you probably heard about WikiLeaks CIA post, but what does it all mean? As Bad Password columnist Violet Blue explains, your level of understanding depends mostly on whether or not journalists actually read and understood the documents. Once the hysteria died down, it was clear that (according to these unverified revelations) encryption on Signal and Whatsapp had remained unbroken, while the real vulnerabilities are in the devices they run on.
Unsurprisingly, the CIA appears to be interested in how it can reach specific targets -- very different from the broad surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden. As she argues, what should be scary is how the government can rely on companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook to collect your data on their own.
Nintendo's new system is currently flying high on the strength of its Legend of Zelda game, and the next hit will be close behind. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a port of the Wii U game, but when it comes to the Switch on April 28th, it will have new racers like Inkling Girl and Inkling boy from Splatoon, King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. Better yet, it's reviving Battle Mode, and the jump-enabling Feather power-up that players have missed since the SNES Mario Kart game.
In an interview, Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime responded to some issues new Switch owners have reported. Those include controllers that occasionally lose sync (especially the left one), and trouble buying a spare dock so they can easily move the console to a new TV. While Nintendo says "There are no widespread technical problems," the issue of spare Switch docking stations is simply a supply thing, which should be resolved soon. The only remaining problem is for users who want to use a single cable for TV connections instead. According to Fils-Aime, that will have to wait for a third-party solution.
South Australia has been dealing with an energy crisis, and guess who has a plan to fix it. Elon Musk and his cousin Lyndon Rive (co-founder of Solar City and now head of Tesla's energy division.) Along with an Australian billionaire, the two have pledged that Tesla can get a battery system set up to deal with the issue within 100 days of contracts being signed -- or the system is free. Now the Australian government has seven days to consider the offer.
Using a mobile 3D printer, Apis Cor created this house in a Russian town within 24 hours. It still required workers for things like painting, wiring and insulation, but produced the 400 sq ft house for just about $10k. Plus, its curved walls were perfect for a curved TV.
But wait, there's more...
- SEC rejects Winklevoss twins' plan to trade Bitcoin as stock
- How Sonos made the new Playbase sound a lot better than it should
- IBM can store data on a single atom
- The Engadget Podcast Ep 31: Look Inside America (with three UK editors)
- 'League of Legends' creator wins $10 million in cheating lawsuit
- Waymo asks court to halt Uber's self-driving car project
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