Amazon’s Good Omens will begin streaming on May 31st

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At its press brief before the Television Critics Association today, Amazon announced that its adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s classic fantasy novel Good Omens will begin streaming on May 31st, 2019.

The limited six-episode series follows Aziraphale, an angel (Michael Sheen), and Crowley, a demon (David Tennant). They struck up an unlikely friendship over the millennia and must work together to stave off the upcoming apocalypse because they’ve grown fond of Earth.

The studio had some additional news as well: Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing the part of Satan, and it unveiled the delightful opening credits for the series.

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Phone makers aren’t even trying to keep their secrets secret anymore

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The Samsung Galaxy S10 will be launched at Samsung’s February 20th event this year, and the first preorders will be delivered by March 8th. I can tell you these dates straight up, without any hedging or caveating, because they’re official, courtesy of Samsung’s newly published reservation page for the new phone. On that page, the company throws up a white flag of resignation, admitting that “we know you know what is coming.” Who is Samsung capitulating to? Industrious leakers like evleaks and Roland Quandt, who, year after year, preempt flagship phone announcements with detailed images and specs of the devices to come.

A few days after Samsung’s launch, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG will reveal the G8 ThinQ. Yes, its name is…

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Google adds haptic feedback to its iOS keyboard

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Google’s Gboard for iOS

Google is adding haptic feedback to its iOS keyboard today. Version 1.40 of Google’s Gboard, spotted by 9to5Google, includes an option to turn haptic feedback on for recent iPhones dating back to the iPhone 7. It’s a subtle vibration for each key press, and it’s something that Apple doesn’t offer with its own built-in iOS keyboard.

Most third-party keyboards also don’t offer haptic feedback for key presses, and the ones that do often cost money. Every letter press, symbol, and number provides a tiny vibration in Google’s Gboard update, and it feels good if you’re used to typing on physical keyboards every day. You’ll need to try it out for a few hours to see if it’s annoying or useful, though.

Google hasn’t enabled this feature by…

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Tesla’s new Dog and Sentry modes take care even when you don’t

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Tesla has just announced a pair of new modes that make great use of the abundance of sensors and technology inside the company’s cars to make a driver’s life a little easier. First and most endearing is the Dog Mode: this will keep your pup at a comfortable temperature while you’re out of the car, and it’ll use the jumbo display at the center to show a message for passersby that you’ll be returning soon. The other major addition is Sentry Mode, which you can enable to have the car essentially guard itself, using its exterior cameras to monitor movement nearby and identify potential threats.

To turn on Dog Mode, you just go into your climate control settings and select the…

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Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a smaller, cheaper version of the amazing X-T3

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Staying true to the pattern it has established over the last few years, Fujifilm is following up on its release of the X-T3 with a smaller, lighter, and more affordable camera that retains a lot of the best aspects of the flagship. According to the company, the X-T20 is its best-selling X-series camera, so producing a worthy follow-up is important. The new X-T30 is shipping next month for $899 (body only) or $1,299 in a kit with the company’s 18-55mm lens. (A 15-45mm kit will also be available for $999.) Black and silver color options will be available at launch, with a new gunmetal “charcoal silver” following in June.

From the front, the X-T30 looks quite similar to the X-T20, but Fujifilm has done some tinkering with the rear design….

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Nikon adds a fast, professional zoom lens to Z-mount lineup

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Nikon announced a new addition to its Z-mount lens lineup this evening: the Nikkor Z 24-70 f/2.8 S is shipping this spring for $2,299.95. It’s a focal length that’s already covered by the kit lens available with either the Z6 or Z7, but this lens is cut out for professionals shooting weddings, landscapes, events, street photography, environmental portraits, and more. It’s also designed to be an excellent performer when shooting video.

According to Nikon, the DSLR equivalent is among its most popular lenses for video, so the company wasted little time recreating that glass for its new Z-mount system. It’s a lens that’s built to produce beautiful bokeh and crisp, high-resolution shots (especially if you’re putting it on the Z7). And this…

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Canon announces EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera at aggressive $1,299 price

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Canon has officially announced the EOS RP, its second full-frame mirrorless camera that joins the EOS R launched last year. This time, Canon is getting extremely aggressive on price and going after mainstream consumers: the EOS RP costs only $1,299 for the camera body alone or $2,399 for a kit with the 24-105mm RF-mount lens. For a limited time, Canon is including both a mount adapter (for using EF lenses on the RP) and a grip at no extra cost with the body.

The EOS RP has a 26.2-megapixel sensor, giving you slightly less resolution than the 30.3-megapixel sensor of the R. If it made sense to compare the R’s sensor to the 5D Mark IV of Canon’s DSLR family, the closest comparison for the RP would be the 6D Mark II. Native ISO runs 100…

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The LG G8 has a vibrating OLED screen for a speaker

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LG is continuing its dripfeed of pre-announcement G8 ThinQ announcements today with some news on the phone’s audio capabilities. The phone uses the same “Crystal Sound OLED” branding that LG has used on some of its TVs before; this means that the entire display will vibrate to work as a speaker, which was previously rumored. The news also confirms that the G8 will be the first flagship G-series phone not to use an LCD.

The G8 still has a bottom-facing speaker for louder use cases like speakerphone calls, and LG says this can be paired with the top part of the screen for 2-channel stereo sound. Elsewhere, the signature quad DAC from LG’s recent flagship phones returns — which means there’ll be a headphone jack — as does the “Boombox…

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The 9 biggest announcements from today’s Nintendo Direct

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Nintendo held its first Direct of the year this afternoon, and while it was primarily focused on Fire Emblem, it was also full of lots of other news. Super Mario Maker is making its long-awaited debut on the Switch, a new co-op Boxboy is coming soon, and Dragon Quest XI is finally coming to Nintendo’s tablet. We’re even getting a surprise new Zelda game. If you missed the live stream, here are all of the biggest announcements.

Super Mario Maker 2 is finally happening

It’s finally happening: Super Mario Maker is coming to the Nintendo Switch. The game, dubbed Super Mario Maker 2, will include some new features (though they remain mysterious), and it’s also launching very soon. It’ll be on the Switch in June.

Boxboy goes co-op

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Super Mario Maker 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch

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Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo’s build-your-own-level game that originally debuted on the Nintendo Wii U in 2015, is officially coming to the Switch.

It will include brand-new features, according to a new Nintendo Direct, which aired this afternoon. There are elements of the game that appear in the trailer that fans of the first title will recognize right away. Those focused on designing the hardest levels for their friends and the streaming community should be happy. Die-hard Super Mario Maker fans have been waiting for a sequel for quite some time. Nintendo ported the game over to the 3DS in 2016, but even the first game hasn’t been available on the Switch.

Nintendo made the announcement during its Direct event, which is also set to…

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Dragon Quest XI S is coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall with 8-bit graphics option

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The latest main entry in the long-running Japanese RPG series Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest XI, is coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall, the company announced during one of its Direct live stream events this afternoon. Officially titled Dragon Quest XI Echoes of an Elusive Age S, the port features new music, new character storylines, and the unique ability to revert the overall look of the game to a classic 8-bit design.

Prior to today’s reveal, Dragon Quest XI’s Switch port was confirmed only for Japan with newly added Japanese voice-over work. Prior to that, the game was released on both the Nintendo 3DS and PS4 in Japan in 2017 and then on PS4 and PC worldwide last September. Now, however, it’s clear the game will see a worldwide…

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Tetris is now a battle royale game with Tetris 99

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Tetris is going battle royale, with a new competitive version of the iconic puzzler called Tetris 99. The game was announced during today’s Nintendo Direct, which also featured the announcement of Super Mario Maker 2 and provided more details about the upcoming Fire Emblem game for Switch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Players in Tetris 99 will compete online against each other until there is only one survivor left. Although there won’t be any running around and fort-building that players are used to in games like Fortnite, the competition still looks to be fierce.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks like a Harry Potter-style anime adventure

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Nintendo has finally taken the wraps off of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, revealing the first concrete details for the title since it was originally announced at E3 last year, along with an actual release date: July 26th.

Three Houses will let players create their own main character, starting as a mercenary before joining the Garreg Mach Monastery to teach as a professor at the Officer’s Academy there. In a Harry Potter-esque move, the academy is split into the (titular) three houses: the Black Eagles (for families from the Ardrestian Empire, led by Edelgard) the Blue Lions, (for the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, led by Dimitri), and the Golden Deer (for the Leicester Alliance, the third faction, led by Claude).

Three Houses is…

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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting a 3D Switch remake

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Nintendo ended its latest Direct presentation with a surprise: a new, 3D remake of the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

While details are slim, Nintendo did have a trailer to show off the remake, which will see the 8-bit Game Boy graphics redone in a bright, colorful, and absolutely adorable-looking 3D style that wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar movie.

Link’s Awakening was originally released back in 1993 for the Game Boy, marking the first time that the franchise had made the jump to a portable console — a fitting match for the Switch, which has taken the place as Nintendo’s current handheld king.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake is set to release later in 2019.

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AirPods are the latest product to be touched by silly design opulence

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Caviar, a sort of tech-jewelry company that rebuilds iPhones into $22,000 diamond-and-metal showpieces, has today announced its take on the AirPods with a set of repainted and fancified editions. Calling them “royal gift editions,” Caviar has spruced up the boring white AirPods with a choice of black or burgundy paint, complete with real gold lettering, for a price of $590 per pair. If you want to step up to the carbon fiber option — because of course there would be such an option — the price for those earphones is $720.

Russia, which is where Caviar is from, fascinates me with its ability to sustain such extraordinarily niche businesses. Nobody’s manufacturing phones or headphones at…

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Samsung Galaxy S10: all the news and rumors about the Unpacked event

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Samsung’s next Unpacked event, where it’s expected to announce the latest flagship phones, falls on February 20th this year — and we’ve got an unusually good idea about what’s coming, thanks to even more leaks than usual. We might be getting as many as five different phones, including as least three versions of the Galaxy S10, plus Samsung’s long-awaited foldable phone, and maybe even a 5G handset. Oh, and how about an early launch of Samsung’s AirPods competitor, the leaked Galaxy Buds?

The S10 may even include a budget variant to compete with Apple’s iPhone XR, and all three are tipped to feature a hole-punch display, instead of a notch, to house their selfie cameras without as much disruption to your screen.

Usually, Samsung tends to…

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Harmonix’s new game Audica looks like Beat Saber with guns

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Harmonix has announced a new virtual reality “rhythm shooter” game called Audica, which is launching as an Early Access game for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 7th. Based on the first trailer, it’s a musical shooting gallery reminiscent of AudioShield or Beat Saber, another VR title that turns highly physical combat into a rhythm mechanic.

Audica is the latest of several Harmonix VR music games, including its 2017 game Rock Band VR. Its initial version will come with 10 songs and one weapon set. By late 2019, it’s supposed to have 25 or more songs that you can play with several different weapons and environments. According to Game Informer, which previewed the game, Audica focuses on electronic music. Its launch songs include “I Want…

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Cloud backup service Backblaze is raising its prices

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Backblaze is a fantastic option for automatically backing up your computer’s files to the cloud, where they’re free from the potential threats of theft or damage that external hard drives can face. But as with many good things, this one is about to get a bit more expensive. The company has announced that it’s going to be increasing its subscription costs slightly beginning on March 11th. The month-by-month subscription will rise from $5 to $6, and the annual fee will jump to $60 from the current $50. The two-year plan is increasing to $110 versus the previous $95 price. Backblaze is available for both Mac and Windows.

Backblaze says the small uptick in cost is justified by the many improvements, enhancements, and faster backups that the…

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