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Ubisoft is killing online support for 15 games on September 1st

Engadget

If you have fond memories of older Ubisoft games with online components from the early 2010s, you might want to check in on them soon. That's because on September 1st 2022, Ubisoft is dropping support for online services in 15 different games including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. In a post on Ubisoft's website, the company says it's decommissioning online services in some of its older games in order to "focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles." Depending on the title, gamers will no longer be able to access multiplayer modes or even download and install additional content (DLC). Affected games are spread across various platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, HTC Vive, Oculus and Wii U, with notable titles including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, the 2012 release of Assassin's Creed 3, Anno 2070 and more.


Meta's latest AI can translate 200 languages in real time

Engadget

More than 7,000 languages are currently spoken on this planet and Meta seemingly wants to understand them all. Six months ago, the company launched its ambitious No Language Left Behind (NLLB) project, training AI to translate seamlessly between numerous languages without having to go through English first. On Wednesday, the company announced its first big success, dubbed NLLB-200. It's an AI model that can speak in 200 tongues, including a number of less-widely spoken languages from across Asia and Africa, like Lao and Kamba. According to a Wednesday blog post from the company, NLLB-200 can translate 55 African languages with "high-quality results."


Amazon's smart thermostat falls to a new all-time low of $42 ahead of Prime Day

Engadget

Amazon has already started selling a bunch of its smart home devices at a discount, almost a week before Prime Day even begins. One of the most notable deals that's already available is Amazon's smart thermostat, which you can get for $42 -- as long as you're a Prime member. Amazon's smart thermostat debuted in September 2021, giving you an affordable option to control your home temperature. But it's Energy Star-certified and can save you an average of $50 on your electric bills every year. Plus, it's Alexa-compatible and allows you to use the voice assistant to set custom routines for heating and cooling.


Ubisoft will drop details on Assassin's Creed and more games on Sept. 10th

Engadget

Ubisoft will share updates and announcements about its roster of projects in a showcase on September 10th at 3PM ET. The event will be streamed on Ubisoft channels on YouTube, Twitch and the studio's official website, and it'll include news on "multiple games and projects from Ubisoft teams around the world," according to spokesperson Youssef Maguid. Back in June, Ubisoft confirmed plans to share information about the future of Assassin's Creed during a special event in September, and this appears to be that. Ubisoft is currently working on two Assassin's Creed projects: one is a live multiplayer experience spanning multiple time periods codenamed Infinity, and the other is a standalone series installment codenamed Rift. Early reports indicate Rift started out as an expansion to Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and it stars Basim Ibn Ishaq from that title.


Amazon's Echo Dot drops to $20 ahead of Prime Day

Engadget

Prime Day is still a week away, but Amazon is getting the jump on one of its biggest events of the year by putting a bunch of its own products on sale a little early. One of those is the fourth-gen Echo Dot. The company has slashed the price of the Alexa-powered smart speaker by 60 percent for Prime members. It's down to $20, which is $30 off the regular price. That's the best price we've seen to date.


The best streaming boxes and sticks you can buy

Engadget

If you're in the market for a new streaming device, chances are you want to improve your home entertainment experience. Maybe you've been relying on your phone or tablet for binge-watch sessions, or perhaps your TV's built-in operating system just isn't cutting it anymore. Streaming dongles and set-top boxes are ubiquitous at this point, but sussing out the differences between them can be challenging. Plus, they're not the only gadgets that can deliver your latest Netflix obsession to your TV screen. Let us break down all of the streaming device options you have today and give you our picks for the best you can buy.


England's health service will use drones to deliver vital chemotherapy drugs

Engadget

The UK's National Health Service has announced that it will test delivering vital chemotherapy drugs via drone to the Isle of Wight. The body has partnered with Apian, a drone technology startup founded by former NHS doctors and former Google employees. Test flights are due to begin shortly, and it's hoped that the system will reduce journey times for the drugs, cut costs and enable cancer patients to receive treatment far more locally. The Isle of Wight is an island two miles off the south coast of England with a population just under 150,000. Due to the short shelf-life of most chemotherapy drugs, medicines are either rushed onto the island or patients take the ferry to the mainland.


TikTok tells senators how it plans to beef up data security for American users

Engadget

In a letter to nine Republican senators, TikTok said it's working to "remove any doubt about the security of US user data." CEO Shou Zi Chew reiterated a claim that TikTok stores American user data on servers run by Oracle, which will be audited by a third party. Chew also said the company expects to "delete US users' protected data from our own systems and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US." "[We] are working with Oracle on new, advanced data security controls that we hope to finalize in the near future," Chew wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times. "That work puts us closer to the day when we will be able to pivot toward a novel and industry-leading system for protecting the data of our users in the United States, with robust, independent oversight to ensure compliance." Chew was responding to questions in a letter sent by the Republican senators -- including Roger Wicker, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Commerce Committee -- following a report by BuzzFeed News.


The Morning After: Major League Baseball wants to deploy strike zone robo-umpires in 2024

Engadget

Major League Baseball will "likely" introduce an Automated Strike Zone System starting in 2024, commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. These robot umpires may call all balls and strikes then relay the information to a plate umpire, or be part of a replay review system that allows managers to challenge calls. The comments come following outrage over umpires' missed calls in recent games, including a brutal low strike error during a Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins game. MLB has been experimenting with robo-umpires in the Atlantic Triple-A minor league since 2019, using similar technology to golf speed-measurement devices. There may be other benefits to introducing the tech.


A swarm of Cruise robotaxis blocked San Francisco traffic for hours

Engadget

A small fleet of Cruise robotaxis in San Francisco suddenly stopped operating on Tuesday night, effectively stopping traffic on a street in the city's Fillmore district for a couple of hours until employees were able to arrive. TechCrunch first noticed a Reddit post that featured a photo of the stalled driverless cabs at the corner of Gough and Fulton streets. Cruise -- which is General Motor's AV subsidiary -- only launched its commercial robotaxi service in the city last week. The rides feature no human safety driver, are geo-restricted to certain streets and can only operate in the late evening hours. Cruise apologized for the incident in a statement, but gave little explanation for what caused the mishap.