The Morning After: Sony's PlayStation 5 arrives

The PS5 has launched, YouTube crashed and Nike's new Jordans can lace themselves.


And today, it’s PlayStation 5 launch day if you got your pre-orders in.

Sony said supply is going to be tight for months, and there will be no launch fanfare at retail stores, either. The company is doing it for safety reasons because COVID-19 and the year that is 2020. This applies to all regions on the PS5’s launch day, whether that’s November 12th in the US or November 19th elsewhere. Sigh.

PlayStation 5

If you’ve suddenly decided the PS5 is the next-gen console for you, and you want it now, there are a few options if you’re lucky (and fast). We’ve laid them all out here, from Amazon (good luck) to Walmart.

And why get the new PlayStation? Get a taste for what it offers by watching us play through the new Spider-Man game and the remastered Demon Souls on our livestream. We didn’t die on Demon Souls — but that’s because, well, Devindra played the tutorial. The coward.

— Mat

Google won't offer free unlimited photo backups after June 1st

You’ll need to pay for Google One if you plan to back up more than 15GB of photos and videos.

Google Photos

Google plans to discontinue one of the best perks of Google Photos. Starting on June 1st, 2021, any new “high quality” photos or videos (items that Google has compressed to take up less space) you upload to the service will count against a shared 15GB cap that will include your Google Workspace documents, slides and spreadsheets. Once you pass that cap, you’ll need to pay for Google One storage.

To reduce the shock, any “high quality” photos and videos you upload before June 1st won’t count against the cap, giving you some time to decide if you want to continue using the service. And Pixel owners won’t have to worry about buying additional storage as they’ll be exempt from the cap.

Google also plans to introduce a new tool it says will help Photos users more easily manage their backed-up content. The feature will surface blurry or dark photos and suggest you delete them to save space. The price of Google One isn’t changing, at least: $2 per month gets you access to 100GB of storage.
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YouTube went down

And stayed down.


Remember that time last night when you tried to play a YouTube video and nothing happened? It turns out the problem wasn’t your WiFi, YouTube just took an hour or two off where no one could play videos. The problems also extended to YouTube TV and YouTube Music, and for a while the Play Store wouldn’t let users download apps or updates. Everything is back to normal now, but this is the second notable YouTube outage in just a few months.
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Nike brings self-lacing Adapt tech to the Jordan XI

The Air Jordan XI Adapt shoes with power laces drop via SNKRS on December 30th.

Nike Jordan XI Adapt

In 2019, Nike introduced its first basketball shoe with powered lacing tech, the BB Adapt. Now, it’s bringing the self-tightening concept from Marty McFly’s Mags to one of its most iconic shoes, the Jordan XI. As part of a 25th anniversary release for the patent leather-covered sneaker, Nike will release this white colorway with Adapt tech built-in on December 30th. There’s no official word on the price, but Nice Kicks pegged them at $500.
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Alexa is getting better at guessing what you’re asking it

The AI has learned to infer your intent based on your questions.

Following the introduction of the natural conversation feature in September, Amazon announced on Tuesday that Alexa can now infer a user’s “latent goals” based on what the person is asking it. For example, if you ask your Alexa “Who’s on Saturday Night Live tonight?” the system will not only answer your question but also proactively offer to, say, set a reminder alarm or turn on the DVR to record.

The system improves itself by actively learning, “which identifies sample interactions that would be particularly informative during future fine-tuning,” according to Amazon.

The trigger that offers a latent goal — setting the reminder alarm or whatever else — is trained on a deep-learning model that takes into account several aspects of the conversation’s context. The model will apparently improve over time as it associates more contextual clues with these latent goals, based on its continued conversations with users.
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