The Minecraft Smash Bros. character does as much mining as fighting

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Image: Nintendo

Talk to any of my friends that have played Super Smash Bros. with me, and they will tell you that I have a consistent (and probably predictable) fighting style. I love to rush at my opponents, get in their faces with a flurry of attacks, dodge out of the way, and then go back in for another barrage. I do this over and over. But when playing as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s new Minecraft character, I can’t fall back on that approach. Instead, I find myself doing a lot of mining.

The act of mining is simple: just hold the B button. Your Minecraft character of choice — you can play as the game’s default Minecraft characters Steve and Alex as well as a zombie and an enderman — will then start automatically mining materials from the ground,…

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The Haunting of Bly Manor proves that every love story is a ghost story

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EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX

The Haunting of Bly Manor, which premiered last week on Netflix, makes me a little sad I’ve never seen a ghost. It’s the second series from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan. Like American Horror Story, the Haunting shows are anthology dramas, with each series telling a self-contained story. They’re not connected, in other words, other than by cast and aesthetic — each show is a drama first, horror show second, set largely in lush, spooky estates.

Like Hill House, Bly Manor is based on a foundational horror text. For this go-round, Flanagan has chosen Henry James’ 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw. The original story is told in flashback by an unnamed narrator who spins a tale of a governess hired to take care of a…

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The HomePod mini could be Apple’s secret weapon for expanding HomeKit

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Apple is taking another try at building a smart home speaker with the new HomePod mini, a smaller, less expensive version of its original HomePod.

The original HomePod was a product that focused more on being a great speaker, rather than being a great smart speaker. The HomePod mini takes the opposite approach: it’s not just another avenue for Apple to put Apple Music or Siri into your home. It’s a way for Apple to vastly expand its HomeKit ecosystem to a much wider audience than ever before.

Sure, the HomePod mini will probably sound good — given that it’s a $99 speaker going up against the likes of the new Nest Audio and fourth-generation Echo, it has to. And having more avenues to…

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Sony’s digital camera webcam software is now available for Macs

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Sony has released a new version of its Imaging Edge Webcam software for Macs, which allows you to directly plug in a recent Sony camera to use as a high-quality webcam for Zoom or Skype calls on your computer.

The company had already released a version of the software for Windows back in August, but the new release means that Mac users can also get in on the action, with crisp, high-quality video calls.

The new software works with 36 of Sony’s cameras, including recent cameras from its E-mount and A-mount series of cameras, like the A9 II, A9, A7S III, A7R IV, A7R III, A7R II, A7S II, A7S, A7 III, A7 II, A6600, A6500, A6400, A6100, as well as its fixed-lens devices like RX100 VII, RX100 VI, RX0 II, RX0, and the vlog-focused ZV-1.

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Cyberpunk 2077 will launch on Stadia the same day as console and PC

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Image: CD Projekt Red

We knew that Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated sci-fi RPG, would be coming to Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service at some point. But it hasn’t been clear exactly when, beyond that it would arrive sometime this year after the game’s launch on PC and consoles.

Stadia players got good news today, though, as CD Projekt Red confirmed in a video presentation that the game will be arriving on Stadia the same day it launches on other platforms: November 19th.

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Fujifilm jumps into the vlogger camera game with the X-S10

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The Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm has just announced a new camera in its X-series mirrorless lineup, the X-S10. The new model is a bit of a departure from Fujifilm’s other cameras, and features a control scheme that’ll be familiar to shooters of other camera systems. It also has plenty of vlogger-friendly features, including a fully articulating display, in-body image stabilization, and a microphone input.

The X-S10 will be available starting in November for $999.95 without a lens. It will also be kitted with a 18-55 f/2.8-4 lens for $1,399.95, or a 16-80 f/4 lens for $1,499.95.

Unlike Fujifilm’s other cameras, such as the X-T4, X-T3, or X-T30, the X-S10 does away with the traditional shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation dials in favor of a mode dial…

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$190 for AirPods Pro is a fantastic post-Prime Day deal

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

The dust has settled following two days of Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales. Most of the deals are finished, and prices are for the most part back to their normal rates. The next big opportunity to save big will come during Black Friday after Thanksgiving, in just over a month.

But, if you didn’t get everything you wanted out of Prime Day 2020, there are still a handful of good deals happening. Some are at Amazon, and some are happening elsewhere at retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. You won’t need a Prime membership to reap the savings of the deals still happening. Consider this the last hurrah of Prime Day 2020.

Before we get into yesterday’s deals that are still available, Daily Steals is offering a great deal on the Apple AirPods Pro,…

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These are the Xbox Series X games that will include next-gen optimizations at launch

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Microsoft is revealing a “selection” of new and cross-gen Xbox Series X games that will be available at launch with optimizations for both the Series X and Series S consoles. While the company isn’t revealing exactly what will be optimized in every title, we should expect to see a mixture of improvements including better load times and higher frame rates.

Fortnite is the biggest third-party title on the list, but Epic Games hasn’t detailed exactly what improvements it’s making to the game for either the Xbox Series X or PS5. Missing from Microsoft’s list is Destiny 2: Beyond Light, despite Bungie’s promise of a jump to 60fps with next-gen consoles. Bungie has confirmed that Destiny 2 will be updated on December 8th, with 4K at 60fps for…

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Sony gives in-depth look at PlayStation 5 UI in new video

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Sony just revealed one of the final big questions about the upcoming PlayStation 5: what the user interface looks like. A lengthy new walkthrough shows off what it’ll look like to actually use the upcoming console when it launches on November 12th.

The new UI is a big change for Sony, offering a complete overhaul of the rather spartan menus that the PlayStation 4 offered.

The main menu of the console is broken up into a new “Control Center” menu, accessed at any time by pressing the PlayStation button, which gives players access to a wide array of system tools, like seeing notifications, which friends are online, controlling music, managing settings for the console and controller, and seeing the status of downloads….

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Spider-Cat is already shaping up to be the real hero of Spider-Man: Miles Morales

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Spider-Cat is an unlockable costume in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is coming to the PS4 and PS5 on November 12th, but this week we got a glimpse of the game’s most important feature by far: Spider-Cat.

Yes, Spider-Cat is real and they can absolutely be your friend and crime-fighting partner.

The big reveal comes courtesy of a gameplay video from Game Informer that shows Morales following up on a bodega robbery. The exact plot isn’t fully explained, but it seems the bodega owner has a cat (also named Spider-Man) who was taken during the crime. Morales dutifully heads off to rough up the bad guys, and in the process retrieves our feline friend, who is apparently then unlocked as part of an optional costume for the player.

Spider-Cat doesn’t just chill out in your backpack,…

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Apple’s HomePod will soon support Dolby Atmos with the Apple TV 4K

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Dolby Atmos will be supported by the pre-existing HomePod, but not the HomePod mini. | Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Apple’s HomePod is getting a lot more useful as a home cinema speaker for Apple TV 4K owners. Apple has confirmed to The Verge that an upcoming software update will let the speaker output Dolby Atmos audio as well as 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio from Apple’s streaming box. The feature will work best when you have two HomePod speakers paired up, but also works with just one. The new $99 HomePod mini, though, will not support the new home cinema functionality.

Dolby Atmos support arrives as Apple is overhauling how the HomePod works with its streaming box. For starters, tvOS 14.2 beta 3 allows Apple TV 4K owners to set the HomePod as their streaming box’s default speaker output, according to 9to5Mac, meaning it shouldn’t constantly force…

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Vivaldi browser gets cyberpunk side-scroller to rival Google Chrome’s dinosaur game

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Image: Vivaldi

Chromium-based browser Vivaldi now comes with a built-in game called Vivaldia, a retro side-scroller set in a cyberpunk universe. The game is available with version 3.4 of the browser, and can be played both online and offline across Windows, Max, Linux, and Android. You get to it by visiting “vivaldi://game” using Vivaldi’s address bar, but it can also be accessed via a link on the browser’s start page on desktop and Android.

Vivaldia’s gameplay follows a very similar template to Google Chrome’s famous Dinosaur Game, an easter egg which can be accessed whenever the browser can’t connect to the internet. Vivaldia doesn’t automatically appear when you can’t connect to the internet, however, and also features more detailed pixel art…

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Microsoft’s new-look Xbox dashboard is rolling out this week

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The October update for Xbox is arriving this week, bringing with it a taste of the next generation. Microsoft has announced that a new dashboard design is rolling out to Xbox consoles as part of the latest update, and it’ll also run on the Xbox Series X and Series S when they launch next month.

This new UX was first shown off back in August. Microsoft says the home screen loads 50 percent faster on boot and 30 percent faster when exiting a game, with 40 percent less memory required on the Series X. It’s not clear if owners of older consoles like the One S should expect performance improvements, though.

The layout isn’t hugely different, but there have been tweaks to elements like the Guide and the games library, and visually it’s now a…

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DJI announces Ronin S 2 and Ronin SC 2 gimbals

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Courtesy of DJI

It’s been well over a month since DJI teased its new products, but today it officially announced two new gimbals — the Ronin S 2 and the smaller Ronin SC 2.

Both three-axis gimbals come with upgrades you’d expect — stronger motors, heavier payloads, lighter materials, but also some software features we haven’t seen yet. Before we get to that, let’s start with the hardware changes on the RS 2.

The more professional gimbal out of the two is now made with carbon fiber and is 1.3lbs lighter than the original Ronin S, weighing in at a total of 2.86lbs. DJI says the RS 2 supports maximum dynamic payload up to 10lbs. It can theoretically hold even heaving rigs, but you probably won’t get ideal performance with that.

The gimbal also comes…

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Sony’s A8G 65-inch OLED TV is just $1,500 right now

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Sony Bravia 65-inch OLED TV

This 65-inch A8G OLED TV is $1,500 for a limited time at Amazon

We’re in the final day of Prime Day 2020, and there are some stellar Lightning Deals happening. One that’s happening right now is on Sony’s 65-inch A8G OLED 4K television. Normally $1,998, it’s down to $1,500 for a limited time. This deal is set to last until 5PM ET today, but I have my doubts it will remain in stock for that long.

$1,500 is a good price for a 55-inch OLED TV, so getting a bigger size for that amount is a steal. And in terms of specs, the A8G is solid. It can be mounted to a wall, and has it Android TV with Cast built-in. In terms of ports, it has four HDMI ports with ARC and CEC support to let the TV work better with your other entertainment devices. Two of those ports support HDMI 2.0.

In general, an OLED TV will…

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Razer’s Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop with a 300Hz display is $600 off

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This deal will get you a loaded system, with a 300Hz refresh rate display, an RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, and more powerful specs | Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

Razer’s Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop got a hefty $500 discount for Prime Day 2020, but Razer quietly knocked an additional $100 off today that brings it down to a more reasonable $2,000 until the end of the day.

Better yet, it’s for a model that’s close in the specs department to the one that I just reviewed, containing an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H CPU, the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics chip, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD and a 300Hz refresh rate 1080p display. This model is $2,600 right now at Razer’s store, but with a Prime membership your price is $600 less. This laptop will also get you a download code for Marvel’s Avengers.

Compared to most gaming laptops out there, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced rocks a low-profile…

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Add 12TB of storage to your desktop for just $175 today

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Western Digital 12TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive | Image: Western Digital

There are a few hours left before Prime Day 2020 wraps up, but there are still a bunch of deals available to take advantage of. If you are looking to beef up your desktop storage, Western Digital’s 12TB desktop hard drive is on sale for just $175 at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Newegg. Normally, this product will set you back $250 or more, so if you need an excuse to add a lot more space to your computer, this is not a bad option. The product is pre-formatted with NTFS use with Windows computers, but you can reformat it if you are a macOS user looking for a Time Machine drive option.

Western Digital’s 12TB Elements desktop hard drive connects via USB but still requires a power cable to function (included with the purchase) and…

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Nikon’s Z6 II and Z7 II cameras add 4K60 video and a much-needed second memory card slot

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Image: Nikon

Nikon has announced its latest full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 II and Z7 II, which improve upon their predecessors with faster performance, improved autofocus, and the inclusion of a secondary memory card slot. Otherwise, the second-gen cameras are largely similar to the Z6 and Z7, using the same sensors and with no outward design updates. The electronic viewfinder and vari-angle LCD — it can’t be rotated to face forward for vlogging — are unchanged in both models.

But pros will appreciate one new addition when they open the memory card door: Nikon has added a UHS-II SD card slot that joins the lone XQD / CFexpress slot from last time. So if you want immediate backups for your shots and videos, there you go. Other changes are on…

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Canon’s EOS M50 Mark II camera adds new features for vlogging and live-streaming

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Photo: Canon

Vlogging from home has become more and more popular as video creators are driven indoors and are coming up with new and interesting ways to entertain their fans. A new version of the Canon EOS M50 Mark II camera could make the process of vlogging and interviewing easier with several new features, such as the ability to just tap the screen to autofocus on a subject while you’re looking through the electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The Mark II, which should sell for about $600 (body only) or $700 (including an EF-M 15-45mm lens kit), is an upgrade of the interchangeable lens camera EOS M50. Like its predecessor, the M50 Mark II offers a 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with ISO 100-25600 and the DIGIC 8, an image processor that lets the camera…

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