Hey, good morning!
The plan for the end of net neutrality is coming. We'll hear all the details later today, but let us distract you with cigar-shaped asteroids, and ooh, Animal Crossing on your smartphone.
Tomorrow, the FCC will release its plan to undo the net neutrality protections put in place during the Obama administration. Chairman Ajit Pai said "Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades. Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet." The ACLU, EFF and so many others are against the move, but before the details are posted later today, we can get you up to speed on what to expect.
Meet Oumuamua, a weirdly shaped (about 1,300-feet long and around 130-feet wide) asteroid spotted by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. Its name means "messenger from afar arriving first," which is fitting since astronomers say this is the first confirmed sighting of an interstellar object. They estimate it's already been traveling for hundreds of millions of years, and when it exits our solar system it will proceed toward the constellation Pegasus.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was meant arrive on iOS and Android devices later today, but, surprise, it's already out. Despite the fact that you can download it from both the App Store and Google Play, servers supporting the game were overwhelmed earlier yesterday, but things appear to have settled down now.
Those rumors of Apple making an augmented reality headset just got a little more fuel. TechCrunch sources say that Apple has acquired VRvana, a startup that crowdfunded (but hasn't shipped) a unique camera-based AR and VR headset, the Totem. Unlike Microsoft's Hololens and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Totem promises a "seamless blend" between augmented and virtual worlds. It can display fully opaque images on its OLED display, letting it transition gracefully from AR to VR. Also, it eliminates the potentially disorienting lag that's characteristic with camera-based approaches to mixed reality -- prototypes have cut the delay down to just 3ms.
If it wasn't already evident that Misfit is on a fashion kick with its smartwatches, here's further proof. The Fossil-owned badge has unveiled a new hybrid smartwatch, the Command, that promises to track your fitness while looking just about appropriate for formal wear. It delivers notifications and tracks activity (including step count, calories, distance and sleep) much like the Phase did, just without screaming "I am tech."
For various reasons, people have periodically spammed certain games with bad reviews, and Valve hasn't done enough to stop it. Now it's beta testing a new system that's supposed to minimize the impact of review bombing. It will take into account whether a game's reviews are mostly positive or negative in determining which ones to display, and track accounts to reduce the effect of votes from accounts that mass-downvote games.
But wait, there's more...
- Android has tracked location info regardless of privacy settings
- Surface Book 2 can't stay charged during gaming sessions
- Interactive 'Minecraft' streams are live in Mixer
- The unconventional analogies of 'Your Hands Are Feet'
- Facebook Messenger will now send your photos in 4K
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