November 23rd marks the 16th anniversary of World of Warcraft, and Blizzard plans to celebrate the occasion by giving you plenty more to do in the game. It'll start rolling out the long-awaited Shadowlands update at 6 PM ET on that day. That's four weeks after Blizzard originally planned to release the expansion. The studio delayed the rollout of Shadowlands from October 26th to improve the endgame and polish up the expansion as a whole. To whet your appetite a bit more, a pre-launch warm-up event starts on November 10th, in which you can take on "a flood of the Scourge."
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Robots still have some trouble handling the basics when put to the test, apparently. Roborace team SIT Acronis Autonomous suffered an embarrassment in round one of the Season Beta 1.1 race after its self-driving car abruptly drove directly into a wall. It's not certain what led to the mishap, but track conditions clearly weren't at fault -- the car had been rounding a gentle curve and wasn't racing against others at the same time. It wasn't the only car to suffer a problem, either. Autonomous Racing Graz's vehicle had positioning issues that got it "lost" on the track and cut its race short.
Now may be a great time to pick up that Amazon device you've been eyeing, because the e-commerce giant is selling several Echo Show and Fire TV models at deep discounts to celebrate Alexa's birthday. Amazon first announced the voice assistant in 2014, and it's celebrating its sixth birthday on November 6th -- think of these deals as an extended sale that makes the devices available at much lower prices, some of them being all-time lows. The Echo Show 8, to start with, now only costs $65, or half what it usually costs. It's out of stock at the moment and won't start shipping until November 20th, but purchasing it now means you can get it at the lowest price it's ever been. We gave the 8-inch version of the company's line of smart displays a score of 85 in our review, praising it for delivering crisp and vibrant images and for having an impressive audio quality.
November hasn't even started yet and Best Buy has already kicked off its early Black Friday deals. Sure, the retailer had a number of "Black Friday guaranteed" prices on its website already, but a slew of new deals are available today through November 1. Among them are some of our favorite headphones and earbuds as well as Amazon devices that were discounted last week for a limited time -- some of those deals are back. Feel free to shop the entire sale but we sifted through the batch and picked out the best deals we could find to make things a bit easier for you. Our favorite pair of wireless ANC headphones is down to a new all-time low. Sony's excellent WH-1000XM4 headphones are $278 right now, which is $72 off their normal price.
Tesla has taken another bruising for the quality of its driver assistance tech. Consumer Reports has conducted (via Reuters) a driver assistance study where Tesla's Autopilot placed a "distant second" to GM's Super Cruise, with a Model Y scoring 57 versus the Cadillac CT6's 69. The key, CR's Kelly Funkhouser said, was the Cadillac's infrared camera to ensure your eyes are focused on the road -- it'll deliver multiple warnings if you appear to be distracted. Autopilot checks for torque on the steering wheel to indicate that you're holding on. This clearly offers some level of driver attention monitoring, but doesn't require that you keep an eye on traffic.
Samsung is teaming up with Mercedes-Benz to bring the automaker's cars into its smart home ecosystem. Starting with the S-Class in 2021, you'll be able to control many of your smart home devices via Mercedes-Benz's MBUX Voice Assistant, including lights, locks, thermostats, home security systems and garage door openers. Back at CES in January, Samsung announced a partnership with Smartcar. The goal was to make its SmartThings app work with "most new cars" in the US. For the last few years, Subaru and Tesla drivers have been able to control their smart home devices from their car through EVEConnect, which requires a paid plan.
Add another AI startup to Apple's growing list of 2020 acquisitions. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the company bought a firm called Vilynx earlier this year. The startup had been training an AI that could understand the content of a video by looking at its visual, audio and text cues. Vilynx used the capabilities of its technology to create tags that made videos more searchable. Apple reportedly paid 50 million to acquire the startup.
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That's what I tell myself every night as I try to eradicate the memory of the live-action Assassin's Creed movie. A better brain-wiping solution, perhaps, will be to watch Netflix's newly-announced Assassin's Creed series. The streaming juggernaut has signed a deal with Ubisoft for multiple shows that explore the time-hopping saga. These include a "live-action epic" and "animated and anime adaptations," Ubisoft revealed in a blog post. The live-action series doesn't have a showrunner just yet, but Ubisoft Film and TV's Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik have been confirmed as executive producers.