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The Morning After: Weekend Edition

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Brusspup, YouTube
My name is Christopher Trout, your new editor-in-chief. You may not recognize my name, but chances are you've read something I've written. When I arrived at Engadget nearly seven years ago, I was a freelancer fresh off of unemployment, our rivalry with Gizmodo was going strong and Josh Topolsky was planning an exit to start The Verge. In the coming years, I'd serve under three other editors, first as a full-time writer, then as the executive editor of our award-winning digital magazine, Distro. I've also been the managing editor of the whole damn thing, and, most recently, the main site's second-in-command.

Oh, and, yes, I am that sex robot guy.

With each new editor at Engadget came a new direction, meant to reflect the state of technology. In those early days, we were the go-to place for exhaustive hardware news, and as gadgets went mainstream we followed suit. We broadened our vision beyond the narrow scope of gadgets, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a tech blog. We took on gaming, entertainment, politics, culture and science. We acquired the archives and expertise of early digital publishing pioneers like TUAW, Joystiq and gdgt. We moved away from aggregating press releases and started focusing on original reporting, invested heavily in new formats like video and social. Some of those changes paid off; others proved to be a distraction.

Now it's time to do what we do best. Going forward, we'll concentrate on the areas where we have the deepest expertise: consumer electronics ("gear"), gaming and entertainment. That doesn't mean we'll give up on things like diversity in the tech industry or NASA's latest milestone, but we'll be more selective about how we cover culture and science. You'll also see more of the stuff Engadget built its reputation on: authoritative reporting on the tech industry and the people, products and ideas that power it.

Of course, innovation doesn't occur in a vacuum, and what happens today can change the course of tomorrow. The future is an exciting and unexpected place and our editors have front-row seats to the action. That's why, after 13 years in the game, we're leveraging our history to bring the future into focus. You'll see more on the next phase of Engadget in the coming months, but in the meantime, allow me to introduce you to the people leading the charge.

Dana Wollman, our former managing editor and the person responsible for our industry-leading gadget reviews, has moved up the masthead to become our executive editor. You can expect her expertise to come in handy as we put the focus back on our core coverage.

Terrence O'Brien, news junkie, voice of the Engadget Podcast and our current managing editor, will remain in his position to oversee our East Coast headquarters. He'll be joined by resident drone expert and audiophile James Trew, and Mat Smith, previously our man in Japan, who will oversee our West Coast and European operations, respectively.

Senior Editor Aaron Souppouris will be stepping up as features editor in an effort to bring you in-depth, long-form reporting on the topics you care most about. He's the monster who's been teaching AI to take our jobs.

Nathan Ingraham is moving up to become our deputy managing editor and will be joined by Senior News Editors Billy Steele and Richard Lawler in steering our daily news efforts. You already have these guys to thank for our 24-hour news coverage, breakneck event updates and liveblogs ... all the liveblogs.

Director of Video Production Olivia Kristiansen is the woman who brought you the Webby Award-nominated documentary Super Humans: Inside the World's First Cyborg Games.

Evan Rodgers, formerly of Vice, The Verge (because everything comes full circle) and a short retreat to the Deep South recently joined us as our social media manager.

Amber Bouman, our community manager, is the one putting the smack down in the comments, so be kind.

And then there's you. As we look to the future, your input is more important than ever. You can get at us in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and wherever quality, ad-supported media is found. We may be strange, but don't be a stranger.

- Christopher Trout, Editor-in-chief

They nailed it
Review: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

Unless you've been living under a rock all week, you've probably heard by now that Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are pretty fantastic. Chris Velazco called them "two of the best smartphones available right now," praising their overall design, build quality and even Samsung's custom interface. The only downsides are a half-baked personal assistant in the form of Bixby, no meaningful camera improvement and an oddly placed fingerprint sensor. Your move, Apple.


Old-school CGI
Remembering the first 'photo' of a black hole

As you read this, a team of scientists is trying to piece together 500TB of data into the first photo of a black hole. But back in 1979, Jean-Pierre Luminet created an "image" of black hole using nothing but an early computer, lots of math and India ink. The image was, we believe, startlingly accurate, and even served as inspiration for the black hole depicted in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. It's also kinda beautiful.


Apple may be the latest to cram a giant screen into a smaller phone
Hope you like iPhone rumors

We're entering prime iPhone rumor season, and the latest points to a 10th anniversary device with curved glass, stainless steel and the iPhone's first OLED display. Bloomberg's Apple guru Mark Gurman says this will be one of three iPhones coming out this fall; the other two will likely be a more traditional iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. But that flagship anniversary device may also have a lot in common with the Galaxy S8, including a screen that takes up nearly the entire front of the display. But unlike Samsung's latest, only the glass will curve, not the screen itself. Whether this all comes to pass remains to be seen, but Apple fans will have a long five-ish months waiting to find out.


It has the power and speed to do itSony's full-frame A9 mirrorless wants to put an end to the DSLR

Sony thinks its new full-frame A9 mirrorless camera is enough to dethrone the DSLR. It's a beast of a camera, geared towards professional photographers -- especially those who shoot sports and other fast-paced environments. Sony says the A9 is the fastest camera it has ever made, and it's half the weight of the DSLRs that it wants to replace. Of course, all the power, speed and image quality (the A9 features a new 24.2-megapixel sensor) doesn't come cheap. The A9 starts at $4,500 and hits stores on May 25th.


The headphone maker enters a new product category with help from an architect.
Master and Dynamic developed its own concrete for its first speaker

It's important to make a statement when you branch into a new product family. Master & Dynamic has been designing some of the best-looking headphones you can buy for just under three years; today it's introducing its first speaker, the MA770. It's not just any wireless speaker, though. Rather than using wood, plastic or metal for the primary material on the MA770, Master & Dynamic chose concrete.


Bringing those awkward social interactions to VR
Facebook Spaces begs the question: why not just chat in real life?

If there was any question why Facebook paid a truckload of cash for Oculus, this week's F8 developer conference cleared that right up. While the social network's Spaces project may make social VR more compelling for friends in far away places, not everyone is convinced it's a great idea.

But wait, there's more...

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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