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Friday’s top tech news: a remake and a remaster

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Today sees the return of not one but two classic games, albeit in very different forms. First up is Goldeneye 007, the 1997 Nintendo 64 classic which is releasing on Xbox consoles and the Nintendo Switch today. Second is Dead Space, a remake of the 2008 sci-fi horror game. The former is a traditional remaster that makes more or less the same game playable on modern systems, while the latter is a complete rebuild. Both are worth checking out if you get the chance.

Next up, Google is packing even more functionality into Google Search. Now, if you search for vehicles for sale, it’ll list individual cars that are available from local dealerships (dependent on availability). It’s a helpful feature on its face, but I can’t help worry that it’s yet another reason to never leave Google’s search results to visit another website.

And finally, we recently checked out Amsterdam’s brand new underwater parking garage, which has enough space for seven thousand bicycles and zero cars. It’s an amazing facility, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be left feeling intensely jealous of the Dutch after looking at Thomas Ricker’s photos.

Here’s a silly tweet to start your day:

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Friday, January 27th, 2023.
  • “Legislation should not greenlight mainstream institutions, like pension funds, to dive headlong into cryptocurrency markets.”

    The White House has noticed the crypto shenanigans of the last year, and presumably its denizens are not especially pleased about them.

    Of particular note: “While congressional action in these areas would be welcome, Congress could also make our jobs harder and worsen risks to investors and to the financial system.”


  • “I had been a hot girl and I saw how she had been treated. How could I fare any better?”

    This post, about working as a social media manager for creators who work on “the pre-eminent marketplace for digital sex work,” is both fascinating and deeply depressing. It’s beautifully-written, and after reading it, I needed to go outside and touch some grass.


    my year as a hot girl for hire

    [elizamclamb.substack.com]

  • A tech demo worth traveling across the world for.

    This week, Verge alum Sam Byford launched his new tech blog, Multicore. One of its debut stories is this fun look back on the prototype Oculus Rift VR headset, which Sam flew from Japan to check out with other Verge crew at CES 2013.

    VR has come a long way since then, but nothing beats the wonder of your first time with the headset on.


    The greatest tech demo ever

    [www.multicore.blog]

  • Mercedes-Benz is the first to bring Level 3 automated driving to the US

    Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot
    Image: Mercedes-Benz AG

    Mercedes-Benz announced that it was the first automaker to receive government approval in the US for a Level 3 driving feature. The company said it had self-certified in Nevada for use of its Drive Pilot feature, in which the car does all the driving but the driver needs to stand by to take control at a moment’s notice.

    Mercedes certified that its technology meets Nevada’s “minimal risk condition” requirement that requires Level 3 or higher “fully autonomous” vehicles to be able to stop if there is a malfunction in the system.

    Read Article >
  • World Surf League adopts Apple Watch as its ‘official wearable’ for competitions

    Brazil’s Ítalo Ferreira surfing in the middle of a pipeline wave
    This is the first time the Apple Watch will be an official wearable of choice in a professional sports league.
    Image: World Surf League

    The Apple Watch will officially be catching waves. The World Surf League announced today that it’s adopting the Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra as official equipment to keep surfers up to date during competitions. It marks the first time a professional sports league has named the Apple Watch as its official wearable of choice.

    Before each heat, each athlete will be given Series 8 and Ultra watches preloaded with a specially made WSL Surfer app. The app will connect with the league’s scoring system in real time and give surfers updates on scores, wave priority, and how much time is left in the heat. They’ll also be able to see how many points are needed to either advance or take the lead. The idea is to help surfers better plan and focus on each wave, especially in difficult surfing conditions.

    Read Article >
  • FDA proposes further lifting discriminatory blood donation policies.

    The agency has gradually lifted restrictions on blood donations over the past decade, but rules on who can give blood have still been punishing for gay and bisexual men. The new proposed policy would eliminate time-based deferral requirements, though other restrictions related to sexual behavior still remain.


  • Bob Iger’s big changes at Disney could lead to more layoffs

    The Disney logo on a white background.
    The Disney logo.
    Nathan Ingraham / The Verge

    Less than a day into his second run as Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger told employees last November that he was planning to restructure key parts of the company in order to walk back some of the changes implemented by his predecessor, Bob Chapek. Now, the shape of that restructuring is beginning to become more clear ahead of the company’s next earnings report, and it sounds like a round of layoffs is on the way.

    Deadline reports that Disney is contemplating how it might consolidate a number of its different TV production arms, as well as merge its marketing departments as part of a larger initiative to get on top of the company’s accounting concerns. Disney’s also reportedly moving forward with its plan to dissolve its Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution division (DMED) — which oversees Disney’s ad tech, content operations / platforms, and other core parts of its streaming business — following Iger’s move to fire its former chief exec Kareem Daniel last fall.

    Read Article >
  • Elon Musk is a bad game designer.

    And this tweet inadvertently highlights the big problem with his free-for-all version of Twitter. PvP games are obsessively — if not always successfully — balanced to make the most players happy for the longest time, not cater to their most abrasive users. (Has the man ever read an Elden Ring patch report?) Also, there are few things players hate more than pay-to-win mechanics. Developers might disguise their competition as a macho deathmatch, but the whole point is making it feel fun and fair — otherwise players will just log off.


  • The Dead Space remake doesn’t support the Steam Deck, and that’s a shame

    Isaac Clarke in the Dead Space remake.
    Isaac Clarke in the Dead Space remake.
    Image: EA

    The Dead Space remake is a very good game, and if (like me) you haven’t sprung for a next-generation console, you’ll need to play it on PC. But Dead Space is a series I’ve found much more fun with a controller than a mouse and keyboard, and I’ve developed an attachment to couch gaming over the past few years — so I’d hoped I might get it to run on my recently acquired Steam Deck, which would easily provide both. Unfortunately, publisher EA has told The Verge that the remake doesn’t support the Steam Deck, and my own experience backs that up.

    Steam listed Dead Space’s support level as unknown when I got my review key for the remake, and out of an abundance of optimism, I gave it a try. The game proceeded to protest this decision in every way it could. It stalled several times on the initial loading screen, and when I eventually reached the introductory cutscene and the game’s opening level, they stuttered constantly on the lowest graphical settings. Despite all of that, I thought I might make things work... but then I entered an elevator after the first enemies appeared, and it either crashed or permanently froze every single try. I ended up playing the game on my desktop, where — with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card — it worked just fine. Some dedicated Steam Deck user might find a way to get the game running after launch, but it certainly doesn’t seem designed for the device.

    Read Article >
  • Medium welcomes posts written with AI as long they’re ‘clearly labeled’

    A screenshot of the home page of Medium showing its wordmark, logo, and the text “Stay Curious.”
    Image: Medium

    Online publisher Medium says it’s happy for users to post articles written with the help of AI writing tools like ChatGPT — as long as their use of the technology is disclosed.

    The blogging platform turned publisher, which lets anyone create their own blog while selling membership access for some exclusive pieces, is the latest organization to establish ground rules for AI-generated text. Medium’s VP of content, Scott Lamb, shared the new policy in a blog post, which states:

    Read Article >
  • Amsterdam’s underwater parking garage fits 7,000 bicycles and zero cars

    A photo showing a surprisingly spacious and futuristic parking garage of all white. Long rows of two-story bike racks extend to the edge of the room as tall white columns rise from the white floor to the white ceiling dotted with circular “windows” showing what looks like blue water (but are actually etched glass).
    That’s not water you see above in those circular windows, but this bicycle garage is definitely under the water. Click here for a larger image.

    Maybe one day, flying cars and jetpacks will be the hallmarks of futuristic cities, but today — in 2023 — it’s massive underwater bicycle parking garages like the one that just opened at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. The structure has space for 6,300 personal bicycles and 700 more for bikeshares to facilitate the first or last mile of rail journeys. Capacity will expand to 11,000 bicycles when a second garage opens in February.

    The four-year, €60 million (about $65 million) project might seem outlandish to anyone outside of the Netherlands, but it’s business as usual for Dutch cities, which are slowly but methodically transforming personal automobiles into relics of a misguided past — a time when cities were built around the needs of cars, not people. Hell, there’s an even bigger underground (but not underwater) bicycle garage in the city of Utrecht, capable of hosting 12,000 two-wheelers. In a country where bicycles easily outnumber citizens, data consistently shows about 35 percent of Amsterdammers using their bicycles daily, which increases to 50 percent of Utrecht’s residents.

    Read Article >
  • Now Google Search results for cars include what’s on the lot at nearby dealerships

    Google logo and black swirls
    Illustration: The Verge

    Google isn’t just useful for helping research your next car; it can also help you shop for one while you search. SearchLab initially reported that the search giant has opened up access to a vehicle listings feature that lets dealerships advertise inventory right beside search results (via 9to5Google and Search Engine Land).

    The listings have been appearing as part of a beta, but SearchLab notes that now all dealerships in the US with a Google Business Profile can add any motor vehicle to their inventory as long as it has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). That includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, and more. A support page for dealers shows activity from last year, as well as more recent updates earlier this month.

    Read Article >
  • GoldenEye 007 is now available on Nintendo Switch and Xbox

    GoldenEye 007 has finally landed on Xbox and Nintendo Switch in a simultaneous dual-release of two titles with some important differences.

    On Xbox, GoldenEye 007 is a remastered version of the legendary Nintendo 64 title that first launched in 1997. The remaster includes 4K resolution, smoother frame rates, and split-screen local multiplayer, similar to a 2008-era bound-for-Xbox 360 version that was canceled amid licensing and rights issues but leaked out in 2021.

    Read Article >
  • The Dead Space remake is a grisly cut of classic horror

    A screenshot of the protagonist of Dead Space carrying a plasma cutter.
    Isaac Clarke goes back to the USG Ishimura.
    Image: EA

    In October 2017, publisher Electronic Arts unceremoniously shut down its studio Visceral Games, best known for shooter series Dead Space. Visceral was part of a dwindling breed at EA, devoted to linear high-budget games instead of a profitable “live service” model. One former employee noted that even the popular Dead Space 2 had been considered a financial failure, and the odds of a new one appearing in the near future seemed small. Yet tomorrow, EA will do just that, releasing a remake of the original 2008 Dead Space developed by its Canadian team Motive Studio. The Dead Space remake isn’t the path I’d have chosen for a resurrection of one of my favorite series. It also happens to be great.

    Dead Space (2023) is most obviously a better-looking version of Dead Space (2008). Debuting on next-generation consoles and PC, it’s the kind of game where everything glistens, from the slimy explosive tentacles wreathing its futuristic spaceship to the ornate brassy ridges on protagonist Isaac Clarke’s suit. But beneath that surface, Motive has polished the foundations of Dead Space with changes drawn from its 2011 sequel as well as some simple yet effective new ideas. Rather than an elaborate reimagining in the vein of the Resident Evil 2 remake, a metanarrative experiment like the Final Fantasy VII Remake, or a user-friendly transformation of a tough-to-play classic like the yet-unreleased System Shock remake, it’s just an immensely solid update to an already excellent game — and one that couldn’t have come at a better time.

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