The Morning After: Tesla's record car sales, despite COVID-19

And big expectations for its Model Y.

Spencer Platt via Getty Images

You don’t have to wait for Saturday Night Live to hear from Elon Musk. Tesla’s earnings call gave the exec another platform, and he talked about everything from Autopilot to solar roof battery bundles. If you’re waiting for the redesigned Model S or Model X, first deliveries of the new sedans with funky steering wheel and shifter setup should start soon.

As for cars already on the road, Musk’s strongest words focused on the recent Houston-area Tesla crash that killed two people. “It was really just extremely deceptive media practices, where it was claimed to be autopilot, completely false. Those journalists should be ashamed of themselves.”

Tesla VP Lars Moravy went into more detail by saying that the steering wheel deformed, a sign that someone was in the driver’s seat when the accident occurred. According to the execs, adaptive cruise control accelerated the vehicle to 30MPH before the crash and slowed and came to a stop after the driver’s seat was unbuckled. While they said evidence from the car’s SD card hasn’t been recovered yet, it gives some indication of why Musk is so adamant that Autopilot driving assistance wasn’t enabled.

— Richard Lawler

Surface Laptop 4 review (15-inch)

A bigger, better ultraportable.

The Morning After

So, the Surface Laptop 4. It looks the same as the Surface Laptop 3, which was just a slightly bigger Surface Laptop 2, a computer that wasn't all that different than the original Surface Laptop. Get the picture? But! It's noticeably faster and has longer battery life than the previous model, and it still has one of the best keyboards on the market. You've also got the choice between Intel and AMD processors on both the 13-inch and 15-inch models.

Take all of that together with a genuinely sturdy and premium-feeling case, and you've got an ultraportable that Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar could easily recommend to anyone. And even the base $1,000 model is well equipped, with a Ryzen 5 chip and 8GB of RAM. Continue reading.

Razer Anzu smart glasses review

Almost great.

The Morning After

Glasses with speakers built into their arms are becoming a thing. Bose and Amazon released eyewear–headphone hybrids in the last few years — both named Frames. Now Razer is joining in with the Anzu smart glasses, which have a few unique features. Since it’s a brand known for its gaming products, it’s not surprising that Razer has a Game Mode for low-latency sound. It also has blue-light filtering lenses by default and costs $50 less than its rivals. Unfortunately, they’re a little too uncomfortable. Continue reading.

Blue Origin is challenging SpaceX's Artemis lander contract from NASA

Its CEO called the process "fundamentally unfair."

The Morning After

Over a week ago, NASA awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a lunar lander for its upcoming Artemis Moon project. In deciding on SpaceX, NASA passed over defense contractor Dynetics and Blue Origin. The latter is now challenging the decision. In a protest filed with the federal Government Accountability Office, Jeff's Bezos' rocket company claims NASA improperly awarded the contract to its rival. Continue reading.

Apple releases iOS 14.5 with stricter app tracking privacy

You can also unlock your iPhone while wearing an Apple Watch.

iOS 14.5 (and iPad OS 14.5) is a significant upgrade that introduces a previously delayed system that requires permission for advertiser device IDs. Apple says this will improve your privacy by limiting tracking, but Facebook has already complained that it will hurt ad revenue.

Other new features are less contentious. The new iOS update lets you unlock your Face ID-equipped iPhone with your Apple Watch (that needs to be running watchOS 7.4) while wearing a face mask, so you won't have to enter your passcode even if you’re covered up. It also comes with a redesigned Podcasts app with the option of paid subscriptions. Continue reading.

Zoom's Immersive View crams up to 25 people inside one virtual background

It's similar to Microsoft Teams' Together Mode.

Zoom has launched Immersive View, a new type of virtual background that assembles video participants together in one scene. It could offer a less distracting setup compared to the traditional gallery view, by replacing the grid format for a shared background that places participants next to each other. There’s some flexibility here, too. Hosts can automatically or manually place users into a virtual background of their choosing, and even move people around and resize them. In the case of a webinar, attendees can view the hosts and participants in the scene. Continue reading.

The best webcams you can buy

Beyond 720p.

The Morning After

Your tiny laptop webcam has probably gotten more use than you ever thought it would, with never-ending Zoom meetings, family video calls and the rest. However, your computer’s webcam isn’t going to be the best.

In addition to leveling up your appearance in could-have-been-an-email work calls, external webcams are essential if you do any live streaming on Twitch or another platform. But there are an awful lot of options. We’ve tested several webcams, and we’ve got some recommendations. Continue reading.

The new iMac's paltry port selection doesn't bode well for the next MacBook Pro

Perhaps those rumors of a MacBook Pro with added ports were wrong.

If the redesigned iMac is an indication of where Apple is going, Engadget’s Nathan Ingraham thinks the rumors of future MacBooks getting some of their ports back may be incorrect. The new base iMac has a measly two USB 4 / Thunderbolt ports. Two! The more expensive iMac configurations throw in a couple of USB-C ports, for a total of four. In comparison, the old 21.5-inch iMac had four USB-A ports, two USB-C / Thunderbolt connections and an SD card reader and Ethernet jack. Apple’s stinginess on its laptops is bad enough, but it makes zero sense on the iMac, where space — while still limited — is less at a premium. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

Apple will build another US campus in North Carolina

AT&T's entry- and mid-level fiber plans get a 200 Mbps speed bump

Luminar will bring its LiDAR tech to Airbus planes and helicopters

What's on TV: 'Returnal' and 'Yasuke'

Roku warns of a standoff with Google over YouTube TV

Lyft is selling its self-driving unit to Toyota for $550 million

Nevada governor backpedals on plan to allow tech companies to form local governments

Engadget Deals: Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3 matches its best price yet

Engadget Deals: Sony's WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones return to record low of $278