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Intellivision video game system reboot delayed amid coronavirus pandemic, now due in April 2021

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

A delay in the arrival of the rebooted Intellivision video game console. The Intellivision Amico, the modern reboot of the iconic Intellivision video game console, which had been scheduled to hit the market Oct. 10, now is scheduled for release April 15, 2021. Because of production challenges during the pandemic, the company decided to push back the system's launch. Not to do so would have compromised quality assurance, said Intellivision Entertainment CEO Tommy Tallarico during an online event Wednesday. "Ultimately our date is going to be determined by specific quality criteria that the team has defined and not a moment before," he said.


Video game TV network VENN launches 24/7 coverage of esports, pop culture and technology

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Video game lovers now have their own fully-fledged network again with the arrival of the Video Game Entertainment & News Network (VENN). The VENN began broadcasting live Wednesday at about 2:30 p.m. ET on its on website VENN.tv, as well as on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. The network has a full slate of programs including daily variety show VENN Arcade Live, the afternoon interactive show Guest House, and The Download, a daily gaming, pop culture and tech news show including host Erin Ashley Simon, esports commentator Matt Morello, and actor and musician Jimmy Wong ("Mulan"). VENN covers "the intersection of culture, entertainment, esports and gaming," Simon said in a promotional video posted on Twitter. But the network also shows that gamers "come in so many different shapes and forms we have so many different passions. And more importantly we are able to be ourselves. VENN is about uplifting and empowering content creators and gamers and talent and allowing us to be us."


The best smart light strips of 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

We fell in love with the LIFX Z LED strip lights for their incredibly simple set up, ease of use, and variety of awesome features. The Lifx Z LED Strip Kit impressed us from the very beginning. In what felt like a blink of an eye, we had these dimmable lights connected to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. It also works with IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, Arlo, Flic, and more. The strip is very responsive when controlled using the Lifx app on iOS and Android devices (keep in mind that HomeKit is only available on Apple smartphones and tablets). Although these weren't the brightest lights we tested, they put off a vivid glow that easily illuminates a dark room. These smart lights have a noticeably thicker strip than the set from Govee, but less chunky than the C by GE set we tested.


Gamers can soon stream Xbox Game Pass video game titles to their phones

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Android smartphone owners will soon have another use for their devices: playing Xbox video games. Microsoft announced Tuesday its Xbox Game Pass subscription service will support Project xCloud cloud gaming technology, allowing players to stream more than 100 games directly to their Android mobile device. Subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99 per month, with the first month $1 for new members) will be able to use the feature beginning September 15, with titles including Destiny 2, Gears 5 and Minecraft Dungeons. "As the world around us changes and entertainment is readily available no matter the device, it's our vision to make games accessible in a variety of scenarios," said Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of Project xCloud, in a statement. "All the experiences you expect on Xbox and your gaming profile travel with you on mobile, including your friends list, achievements, controller settings, and saved game progress."


Google has an answer to keeping your work and school life at home on time amid COVID-19 pandemic: Family Bell

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

There are many things about doing school at home that aren't much like being at school. No lines of cars with kids dragging oversized backpacks, no recess games and no bells to alert students when to get to class. For people who like visual and audio cues for when to get kids in front of their computers for class, like those iconic school bells,, Google introduces the new "Family Bell," feature today. It's part of the Google Assistant, whether on phones and tablets with an app or the connected speakers and display units. Family Bell is a reminder that can set to announce when it's time for the class, "take a break, settle in for reading time, have a snack or even for bedtime," notes Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product Management for the Google Assistant.


Congress and technology: Do lawmakers understand Google and Facebook enough to regulate them?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Many of us have had the feeling that technology, which continues to change at an ever-dizzying pace, may be leaving us behind. That was embodied this past week during a Congressional hearing, nominally convened to investigate antitrust concerns of four big tech titans: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. While the five-and-a-half-hour inquiry touched on a range topics from pesky spam filters and search results to how companies approached acquisitions, the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing laid one thing bare: A sizable disconnect appears to exist between the technology Americans are using and depending on in their daily lives and the knowledge base of people with the power and responsibility to decide its future and regulation. "Consumers and investors walk away feeling like a lot of these lawmakers don't really understand the business models to an extent that they could then navigate them and put laws in place that will dictate the future of where they go," said Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. The antitrust subcommittee hearing had been convened to look into the tech giants' market dominance.


TCL's huge 8-series TVs are half off right now for savings up to $1,500

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

This stunning TV could be yours for under $1500. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you're missing the movie theater these days, not to fret: You can bring it home to you instead! Right now happens to be a fantastic time to upgrade your entertainment setup with a huge viewing screen, as Best Buy is currently offering a deal on TCL's 8-series TVs that's definitely worth paying attention to. For a limited time, you can nab both the TCL 8-Series 65-inch TV and the 8-Series 75-inch TV (both of which are exclusive to Best Buy) for half off their usual list prices.


NASA's Perseverance rover has launched: It's a stepping stone to send humans to Mars

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In the past few weeks, two different spacecraft have launched to the red planet and on July 30, one more was sent out. After the United Arab Emirates and China successfully launched their spacecraft to Mars earlier this month, the United States has gotten in on the action. United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket, equipped with NASA's Mars Perseverance rover, launched Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Perseverance would be NASA's fifth rover to reach the Martian surface. Perseverance will bring the space agency one step closer in taking humans to Mars – an initiative that's been a long time coming.


Ring's latest doorbell offers several new features, but is it worth it?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus comes with two interchangeable faceplates, but additional colors can be purchased to match your home's exterior. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is the latest iteration in Ring's longstanding smart doorbell lineup. It boasts two-way talk functionality, 1080p HD video, and a 160-degree live stream straight from your front door. Keeping a very similar look to previous models, the Ring 3 Plus comes with two interchangeable faceplates in Satin Nickel and Venetian Bronze. Sometimes installing smart gadgets can be tricky, but I found the Ring 3 Plus simple to set up.


This smart gadget makes pool care so much easier

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In the same way a smart video doorbell keeps a watchful eye over your home, a smart pool water monitor can help keep tabs on the quality of your precious pool water. It may seem like a trivial gadget to add to your home, but if you've spent any time schlepping water from your pool to the pool store every week, you know how time-consuming it can be. And, during a pandemic-riddled summer when social distancing is still in effect, taking matters into your own hands may just be the way to go. I've tried all sorts of smart gadgets before but nothing like the pHin smart pool water monitor. The pHin smart pool water monitor comes neatly packaged and includes everything you need, including a bridge, to set it up.