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The Morning After: Microsoft is pulling the plug on 'Minecraft Earth'

Bose is rolling out a new style of wireless ear buds, 'Minecraft Earth' is going away and Amazon's buying planes.


If existing styles of wireless earbuds have never quite worked for you, Bose is ready to try a new design. These wireless Sport Open Earbuds don’t go in or over your ear canal. Instead they sit above it, allowing you to get the audio and still hear sounds of everything going on around you.

Bose wireless Sport Open Earbuds

The design looks a little awkward compared to other buds, but Bose claims they’ll stay securely positioned in any weather conditions, with loud, clear audio you can hear without blasting it to everyone else. I’ll need to see reviews from one of our audio experts before I believe fully in what it’s selling, but the possibility of a headset with a better fit is worth a shot.

— Richard Lawler

‘Minecraft Earth’ will shut down on June 30th

Microsoft’s AR mobile game launched in the US a year ago.

Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth players have until June 30th to play the augmented reality title before Microsoft shuts down its servers and it’s no longer available to download from app marketplaces. According to its developer, Mojang Studios, “Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play — two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation.”

The studio is rolling out one last update it says contains changes “to make your time in Minecraft Earth as fun as possible.” Among other tweaks, the update does away with real-money transactions and drastically reduces the time it will take for players to craft and build things within the game.

Microsoft will delete player data on July 1st, and the game that debuted at WWDC 2019 will disappear.
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Dell unveils its first 40-inch ultrawide monitor

And SafeShutter equipped business laptops.

Dell ultrawide monitor

The CES 2021 rush is already starting. Dell rolled out devices built for some specific business needs. Its first 40-inch ultrawide monitor has a 5,120 x 2,160 resolution that can fit a 4K video while showing editing controls on the sides.

It’s also releasing a set of monitors made for video conferencing, thanks to built-in 5MP cameras, speakers, noise-canceling microphones and even dedicated Microsoft Teams buttons. Last but not least, new Latitude 9000 laptops are the industry’s first to feature an “automatic shutter” which will close off the camera when you’re not using it — key if you’d like to use your laptop both for Zoom calls and in areas where pictures aren’t allowed.
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Tile's next-gen tracker could use ultra-wideband tech

And you might use AR to find it.

We’re still waiting to see dedicated tracker tags from Apple and Samsung, but Tile is trying to ensure it’s staying competitive. According to TechCrunch, the company is developing a tracker that will use ultra-wideband (UWB) tech, instead of Bluetooth, to help you find lost items. UWB has a handful of advantages over Bluetooth: Its high-frequency waves can transmit spatial and directional data, which make it more accurate at estimating the location of tags and devices. The latest iPhones, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 2, pack UWB functionality already.
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Verizon puts 3G shutdown plans on hold indefinitely

It will keep the network operational alongside its 4G and 5G networks.

Verizon (owner of Engadget's parent company, Verizon Media) isn’t shutting down its 3G network anytime soon. Kevin King, the carrier’s spokesperson, told Light Reading that Verizon’s “3G network is operational” and the company has no plans to shut it down. He also added that the company will “work with customers to move them to newer technology.”

Verizon stopped activating 3G phones in 2018 as “virtually all traffic on [its] network is on [its] 4G LTE network,” it said at the time. Neither King nor Verizon revealed how many 3G devices are still connected, but the figure could be significant if it chose to keep the network operational alongside 4G and 5G.
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Amazon buys planes for the first time to expand its cargo air fleet

Until now, Amazon Air leased aircraft.

Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767, photographed on August 8, 2016 from Wolfe Air Learjet 25B by Chad Slattery

Amazon’s cargo airfleet seems to be a success. Expanding from 11 jets when it launched in 2016, the company will have more than 85 planes delivering whatever global customers are buying by 2022. Amazon’s latest announcement is notable because it marks the first time the company has purchased, instead of leased, additional aircraft.
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