The Morning After: The latest Unreal Engine demo is ‘The Matrix Awakens’


Epic Games

That’s a digital Keanu and, yes, Epic Games’ interactive demo ties into The Matrix Resurrections feature film landing later this month. On December 9th, The Matrix Awakens will be available on your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S console ahead of its debut at The Game Awards.

The Morning After
Epic Games

It appears to be a slick technical demo of Unreal Engine 5, showing what the next-generation engine is capable of, with some help from Neo et al. For most, this will be the first chance to see UE5 in action. Epic previewed the engine partway through last year with a stunning PS5 demo, but has been largely quiet since. The Game Awards, this Thursday, sounds like a good time to show off.

— Mat Smith

Samsung’s major shake-up

It’s replaced all its CEOs.

Samsung has merged its mobile business, the company's biggest moneymaker, with its consumer electronics division in a major restructuring meant to "strengthen its business competitiveness." The tech giant has also replaced all of its CEOs and shuffled many around.

Jong-Hee Han, head of its TV business, has been named as Vice Chairman and co-CEO of the newly merged mobile and consumer electronics divisions. Han won't be leaving his duties as Head of Visual Display, though, and will instead lead both businesses. Han reportedly has no experience in mobile, but Samsung credits him with playing a key role in the company dominating global TV sales over the past 15 years.

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The SEC is investigating Tesla over defective solar panels

The probe stems from a 2019 whistleblower complaint.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Tesla after a whistleblower complaint alleging the company failed to disclose a variety of safety risks associated with its rooftop solar panels. According to a Reuters report, the agency acknowledged the probe in a Freedom of Information Act request made by Steven Henkes (pictured above), a former Tesla employee.

The investigation follows several years of reports of safety concerns with Tesla’s solar panels. In 2019, Walmart sued the company after its solar panels led to seven store fires. While the two companies eventually settled, the retailer claimed at the time that Tesla regularly sent inspectors who “lacked basic solar training and knowledge." That same year, Tesla solar panels at an Amazon warehouse in California reportedly caught fire as well.

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Concept hydrogen-powered plane could fly halfway around the world without refueling

But the main word is concept, for now.

The Morning After
Aerospace Technology Institute

Electric planes won't be feasible until batteries become more powerful and lightweight, but hydrogen-powered flight is another possible way to reduce the flight industry’s carbon emissions.

The FlyZero project, led by the Aerospace Technology Institute and funded by the UK government, came up with a concept for a liquid hydrogen-powered midsize aircraft. It said the plane would be able to fly 279 passengers non-stop from London to San Francisco or from London to Auckland, New Zealand, with one stop for refueling.

We're years away from commercial hydrogen aircrafts, with refueling infrastructure non-existent and hydrogen more expensive and difficult to store than standard kerosene fuel. The FlyZero project plans to publish more detailed findings early next year.

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Instagram launches Take a Break and other safety features for teens

Just in time for Adam Mosseri's Senate testimony.

Instagram has launched a number of new and experimental features meant to make its app a safer place for teens ahead of Instagram head Adam Mosseri's Senate testimony. The previously announced Take a Break feature has now launched in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Now, when a user — teens, in particular — scolls through Instagram for a long while, the app will ask them to take a break and to set reminders for the future.

In March, Instagram will be launching tools for parents and guardians to give them a way to view how much time their kids are spending on the app and to set time limits.

Adam Mosseri is set to testify this week as part of a series of hearings about protecting kids online. Instagram and Facebook have come under fire in recent months after whistleblower Frances Haugen told Congress about the social networks' effect on teens based on Meta's own research. Haugen revealed that "engagement-based ranking on Instagram can lead children from very innocuous topics like healthy recipes… to anorexia-promoting content over a very short period of time."

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