Hacker turns little Lego man Mario into Super Mario Bros. controller

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There are lots of ways to play Super Mario games if you’re feeling creative. You could use a regular controller, sure, but why not a Guitar Hero guitar, Donkey Kong’s famous bongo peripherals, or even a real-life drum kit. And what about using Mario himself, turning a figurine of everyone’s favorite plumber-slash-war criminal into a physical controller?

That’s what self-declared “hardware hacker” @r1ckp did, using a Mario mannequin released as part of a Lego Super Mario toy set earlier this year. As you can see in the videos below, @r1ckp tilts Lego Mario backward and forward to move around the game world of Super Mario Bros. (which is running via an emulator in a Linux virtual machine on a Mac), and with the right movements, Mario can…

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This rare, vibrant heirloom corn is the work of a Dust Bowl farmer with Cherokee roots

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TIL: Glass Gem is a beautiful and rare variety of heirloom corn (aka calico, flint, or “Indian” corn) that looks like candy, or maybe beads (previously). It was developed by Oklahoma farmer and breeder Carl ‘White Eagle’ Barnes and was originally only distributed to tribal members. Barnes, who passed in 2016, was half-Cherokee, half-Irish-Scotch and […]

The PS5 is priced, the Oculus Quest 2 launched, and the GoPro Hero 9 reviewed

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Processor is a digest for what’s happening in the world of consumer technology, with incisive analysis (or maybe just jokes) from Dieter Bohn. Sign up for the newsletter here and check out the Processor video series on YouTube.

It is a remarkably good time to be into video games. It’s not just that we’ve got new console launches from Microsoft and Sony. It’s also that Nvidia is invigorating PC gaming with new possibilities as it brings 4K performance into a more achievable price range. And it’s that Oculus has released a new, less expensive VR headset.

On top of all that, we see game companies beginning to experiment with new pricing models and methods of distribution. Microsoft has bundled its hardware into a subsidy plan with its…

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With the next console generation, buying digital looks better than ever

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The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

I’m generally a person who appreciates physical media. I collect vinyl records, buy print books, and like to watch 4K Blu-ray movies. But for a variety of reasons, I switched entirely to buying digital games on each platform as soon as the option became available. Now that Sony and Microsoft have revealed their next-generation consoles in full, a lot more people may well choose to do the same.

To recap, yesterday Sony announced the pricing for its upcoming PlayStation 5 — both the regular model and the disc-less Digital Edition. The standard PS5 is $499.99 and the otherwise identical Digital Edition is $399.99, saving you a full $100 if you swear off physical games for good.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has gone even further to incentivize…

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OnePlus’ well-balanced Nord line is US-bound with sub-$400 5G model, says report

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OnePlus’ Nord handset, released internationally but not in the US. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

We were pretty pleased with the OnePlus Nord — a well-balanced, mid-ranger that made some compromises but generally delivered for its price. But the Nord wasn’t available in the US, which is why we’re excited to see reports that OnePlus is readying a new Nord model that apparently will be coming to the United States: the Nord N10 5G.

News of this handset comes from Android Central which cites “an insider source.” The publication says the Nord N10 5G will be powered by the Snapdragon 690 which offers 5G support (the original Nord had a Snapdragon 765G), and that the base variant will have 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 6.49-inch FHD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate. That’s a slightly larger screen than the original’s (6.44-inch) but…

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Safari 14 is now available for macOS Catalina and Mojave

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macOS Big Sur Safari

Apple announced the new Safari features back at WWDC 2020. | Image: Apple

Apple has released the latest version of its Safari browser for macOS Catalina and High Sierra, ahead of the release of Big Sur later this year. Safari 14 improves the browser’s tabs, adds a new privacy report feature, and offers new customization options for your start page. You can download it by heading to System Preferences app and clicking “Software Update.”

One of the key improvements that’s coming with the latest version of Safari is improved tab management. The tabs themselves have been redesigned to be more space-efficient, display website favicons by default, and show a preview of each tab while hovering your mouse over them. There’s a new start page which you can customize with your own backgrounds and links, and a Privacy…

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Sony announces the Xperia 5 II with 120Hz screen and actually useful game enhancements

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Sony is continuing its refresh of its smartphone line to focus on photography and video with the new Xperia 5 II. It’s the smaller sibling of the very tall and weirdly expensive Xperia 1 II, and this newer phone betters it in several regards. It’s cheaper, for one thing, going on sale on September 29th for $949. The other major improvement is that Sony has put in a high-refresh-rate 120Hz panel.

Oddly, though, Sony says it’s not shipping until December 4th and even more oddly, it will have 5G but won’t work with the 5G networks in the US — just like the Xperia 1 II.

The basic idea of the Xperia 5 II is that it’s a phone with a tall 21:9 screen, but it’s relatively small at 6.1-inches. That sounds big, but since it’s so tall it works out…

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Sony Announces Xperia 5 II: 120Hz Full-Fledged Small Phone

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Today Sony is following up on one of its newer form-factors that the company had introduced last year with the Xperia 5. The new Xperia 1 II (read as mark two), follows up on the smaller flagship sibling device, retaining its form-factor, but also substantially improving its design as well as maintaining an almost complete feature-parity with the bigger Xperia 1 II.

The new phone also sets out to differentiate itself from other Sony offerings: the company seemingly has focused on the more gaming-centric usability of the device even though externally it does not have the flair of a gaming phone. With a new internal heat dissipation system and a 120Hz refresh rate OLED and 240Hz sample rate touch input, the Xperia 5 II punches above its weight when it comes to fluidity.

iRobot’s new $599 i3 Plus Roomba comes with automatic emptying but no smart maps

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iRobot has announced a pair of new midrange vacuum cleaners that have some of the perks of its top-range models but a few compromises, too. They are the $599 i3 Plus, which comes with the company’s automatic bin-emptying station, capable of holding 60 days’ worth of dirt, and the plain old $399 i3, which has no emptying station but is otherwise identical.

The big drawback for these vacuums compared with iRobot’s pricier models — the i7 Plus and i7 ($799 / $599 with and without automatic emptying) and s9 Plus and s9 ($899 / $1,099, ditto) — is that they don’t include the company’s smart mapping features. This allows the Roombas to map your house so you can tell them to clean specific rooms and even specific areas of specific rooms (like…

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Where to buy Nvidia’s RTX 3080 graphics card tonight or tomorrow

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Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Sony’s PlayStation 5 opened pre-orders today, and it’s an utter fiasco so far — there was no communication about when, where, or how to get one without competing with scalpers. But perhaps we can help you get your hands on Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 graphics card, a GPU that finally powers 4K 60fps gaming or better for $700?

Truth be told, we don’t know when precisely these orders will begin, but it should be sometime between now and the end of day tomorrow, since September 17th is launch day.

But we do know where you might want to look: Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg all have dedicated landing pages that list all the cards they plan to sell — though do note that they’re mostly third-party designs from the likes of EVGA, MSI, and Gigabyte,…

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This portable security cam is super discreet, shots HD quality video, and offers first-rate peace of mind

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Surveillance cameras aren’t just a luxury anymore. They’re practically a necessity. Whether you want to keep an eye on your home or children, secure your business or just make sure your actions are documented correctly, discreet, portable security cameras have never been more accessible or more powerful. The Tokk C2 Discreet Day/Night Vision Camera is […]

Oculus Quest 2 Offers a More Powerful Standalone VR Headset For $299

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Facebook has unveiled the Oculus Quest 2, including its release date and price, and it promises to be a big leap over the original. Android Authority reports: The second-generation standalone, Android-powered virtual reality headset will be available on October 13 starting at $299 for a model with 64GB of storage, a full $100 below the price of the first Quest. Pre-orders are open now. The Oculus Quest 2 is much more powerful than its predecessor, with a Snapdragon XR2 chip and 6GB of RAM instead of the aging Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM. That should lead to more advanced games and an overall smoother VR experience, although you’ll need to wait for titles that take full advantage of the added power.

You may notice the improved display technology right away, however. The Quest 2 boasts the company’s sharpest visuals yet, with a single LCD screen providing 1,832 x 1,920 resolution for each eye — 50% more pixels than the 1,400 x 1,600 displays in the first Quest. It’s the highest-resolution Oculus headset to date. The Oculus Quest 2 also supports much more natural-feeling 90Hz refresh rates, although it won’t be available upon release. You’ll have to settle for 72Hz at first. It could also be the most comfortable. The Quest 2 is both smaller and 10% lighter than before, with a soft head strap that should make for an easier fit. The Touch controllers are improved, too, with upgraded haptic feedback, better hand tracking, and a thumb rest. Add-ons will help, for that matter. A Fit Pack will adapt to different-sized heads, while a $49 Elite Strap and a $129 Elite Strap with Battery Pack offer both more comfort and longer VR sessions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

PS5 will be ‘99 percent’ backward compatible with PS4 games

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Sony revealed the PlayStation 5’s price and release date ($399 for the all-digital version, and $499 for the one with a disc drive, both out on November 12th), as well as the company’s six launch titles that will be available at release. That’s not a huge lineup, and you might be wondering if you can play some of your PS4 collection on your new PS5 as more games become available — and fortunately, it seems like there’s a good chance you will.

The new console is “99 percent” backward compatible with the PS4 games the company has tested on it so far, Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said in an interview with The Washington Post. In March, Sony said it believed the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games would be backward compatible with the…

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How to download and install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

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New home screen widgets in iOS 14

Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple’s newest software updates for the iPhone and iPad, are rolling out now, and they bring a lot of new features. On iOS 14, you’ll be able to add widgets to your home screen, watch video in picture-in-picture mode, and use a new Apple-made language translation app. On iPadOS 14, you’ll be able to handwrite into text boxes and use a redesigned search experience. And both software updates offer improvements to Maps, Messages, Safari, and Siri.

Here’s what you need to know to download and install the new updates. And if you want to know which devices support each update, just check our listings at the bottom of this article.

How do install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

  • Open up the Settings app on your device and tap…

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Sony reveals PS5 accessory pricing, including $70 DualSense controller

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Image: Sony

Alongside the reveal of the PlayStation 5’s $399 and $499 price tags and November 12th release date, Sony also announced how much the various accessories for the upcoming console will cost.

The most important price is that of Sony’s new DualSense controller, which will cost $69.99 for additional gamepads. That’s a $10 increase compared to the $59.99 MSRP for the DualShock 4 — apparently all the fancy haptic feedback technology and adaptive triggers that Sony is adding don’t come cheap. And the charging station, which can recharge two DualSense controllers at once, is set to cost $29.99.

Meanwhile, the Pulse 3D wireless headset — which will support Sony’s big push for 3D audio — is set to cost $99.99, while the PlayStation…

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