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The Morning After: 'Cats' gets a digital effects update

And the Pixel 4 'feature drop' contained a couple of surprises.

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Richard Lawler
December 23, 2019 7:30 AM

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Ready for a winter break? After today, the newsletter will return on Friday morning while we recharge a bit. I'll be spending some time with the family, binge-watching The Witcher and a Korean remake of Suits on Netflix while getting prepared for CES. One thing I won't do is check out the updated theatrical version of Cats -- I get enough digital patches via Xbox One and PS4. When we return, we'll be ready to step carefully into 2020, which should include some welcome updates for The Morning After (it's the newsletter you're reading right now, remember?).

See you then, and thank you to everyone who has enjoyed these messages this year.
-- Richard

More than expected.Pixel 4 gets improved Face Unlock and other surprise updates

Now the Pixel 4 Feature Drop for December has arrived, owners have noticed a couple of new features Google neglected to mention in its blog post. While Face Unlock still doesn't check to see if your eyes are open, it has been upgraded to get better at recognizing your face over time. Post update, the Pixel 4 also has dual-frequency GNSS for better location tracking and the ability to activate its eSIM on T-Mobile.

Just in case you're not done shopping.Engadget's 2019 holiday gift guide is here!

After months of thinking, curating, photographing and more thinking, we've come up with a holiday gift guide that covers all the bases (and budgets), from laptops and mobile devices, to toys, to the smart home, to book and media recommendations (only on nerdy subjects, of course). All told, there are more than 150 items in our guide, spanning 13 categories, with advice from 25 of our writers and editors. You know, the people testing and reviewing this stuff all year long.

Theaters can download a new version via satellite or wait for a delivery.'Cats' is getting new special effects while it's still in theaters

In a world full of constant software updates and day-one patches for blockbuster games, we probably should've expected movies would be next. According to a memo seen by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal is sending a new version of Cats to cinemas with "improved visual effects." Apparently the rush to get it out on time meant first-week viewers caught a glimpse of some unfinished shots -- Judi Dench still had her human hands -- that will presumably never be seen again.

(Almost) there and back again.Boeing Starliner is the first US-made crew capsule to land on the ground

Boeing's spacecraft landed safely at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range at 7:58AM Eastern, making it the first US-made, crew-ready capsule to touch down on solid ground. Previous capsules from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs all landed in the sea. During a briefing, NASA and Boeing said they still expected a crewed flight in 2020, but that they wanted to review data before deciding the next course of action.

Not TikTok, ToTok.Messaging app ToTok is reportedly a spying tool for the UAE

Unnamed US officials speaking to the New York Times say that the chat app ToTok is believed to be a surveillance tool for the United Arab Emirates. According to a classified intelligence report, the UAE uses ToTok to follow users' conversations, track locations (under the guise of weather), determine social connections and look at media. Both Apple and Google have pulled the app from their stores.

But wait, there's more...

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The Morning After: 'Cats' gets a digital effects update