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The Morning After: The premium toaster maker that's launching a smartphone – Engadget

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I’ve been obsessed with Balmuda’s fancy toaster for years. As some readers might know, I used to live in Japan while working for Engadget, and I’d browse around electronics superstores like Yodobashi Camera and Yamada Denki, gawping at high-level cameras, weird 3DS games that would never make it to the West and touring floors upon floors of home appliances and gadgets. There are entire shop floors dedicated to rice cookers, water boilers and the rest. And it is amazing. 

Balmuda’s premium toaster oven was the apex, though. Fortunately, the company’s steam-based toaster has made it to the US in recent years and now, for $329, you can have the fluffiest slices of toasted bread you can imagine. But for those in Japan, Balmuda has now announced its first-ever smartphone. 

Balmuda

It’s a petite device with a full-HD 4.9-inch display. The company teamed up with Kyocera to manufacture the Android device, which has 5G and wireless charging. It comes with a 48-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a fingerprint sensor. The Balmuda Phone is powered by a Snapdragon 765 processor and, as you might tell, the device packs relatively middleweight specs. The company may be banking on its premium status to convince smartphone shoppers.

At the moment, the company doesn’t have plans to release the phone outside Japan.

— Mat Smith

The new guitar is for younger musicians.

The Morning After

Fender

Fender’s acoustic-electric hybrid guitars are technical marvels — with a price to reflect that. Now, the instrument brand has unveiled its $1,200 Acoustic Player Telecaster with a simpler design with a three-way voice selector (versus five on other models) and one blend knob.

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And yet Gmail and Hangouts were working fine, ugh.

A Google Cloud networking issue took down a handful of prominent websites late yesterday, including Spotify, Snapchat, Etsy and Discord. As one colleague put it: “Annoyed that my fun stuff is down, but Slack remains miraculously up, as does other work stuff.” Google announced the issue was partially resolved as of 1:17 PM ET but a full fix didn’t occur until around 3:15 PM ET. Google said it “will publish an analysis of this incident, once we have completed our internal investigation.”

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A new report says Kotick knew about the company’s sexual harassment problems for years.

Employees at Activision Blizzard are calling for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick following new revelations about the role he may have played in creating the toxic workplace culture that has mired the company. A Wall Street Journal report outlined Kotick’s handling of the sexual harassment lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The newspaper claimed Kotick not only knew about many of the worst instances of abuse at the company, but in some cases, he may have also acted to protect employees accused of harassment.

“We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy,” Activision Blizzard employee advocacy group A Better ABK said on Twitter after the report came out. “We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source.”

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The update is now more broadly available.

The Morning After

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Having slowly rolled out its OS update to the most powerful (and up-to-date) PCs, Microsoft is accelerating the rollout of Windows 11, making it more broadly available. Provided your system is running version 2004 or later of Windows 10 and you recently installed the September 14th, 2021 servicing update Microsoft released, you can now upgrade directly to Windows 11. When Microsoft first released the new OS on October 4th, the company said it expected to offer the upgrade to all eligible devices by mid-2022.

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It’ll feature a library of ultra-high definition nature documentary videos.

Roku’s added its first premium 8K channel to its platform: The Explorers. The only 8K Roku TVs on the market right now are from TCL, in 65- and 75-inch formats. TCL first showed off the TV at CES, and would you know it, the next CES is just around the corner. I’m sure there are more 8K TVs waiting to be revealed in January.

Ultra-high-definition premium content from The Explorers (which also offers free content through its channel) will typically cost $3/month. A tenth of that fee will be donated to The Explorers Foundation, which aims to preserve biodiversity. The channel will also offer 8K content at a time when it’s still rare. YouTube remains the main place for 8K footage.

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Google Maps grocery pickup feature expands to 2,000 US stores

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1Password 8 is now officially available for Windows

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Genshin Impact Reveals Arataki Itto Character Abilities In New Teaser – Screen Rant

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miHoYo, developer of Geshin Impact, has unveiled the abilities of the upcoming character Arataki Itto, along with a new teaser trailer. Arataki Itto is the latest playable 5-star character scheduled to arrive in the game during the ongoing 2.3 update. The leader of the Arataki Gang, Genshin Impact‘s Itto got a surprise character reveal on social media in October, supposedly in response to leaks that were coming out at the time.

Genshin Impact’s current 2.3 update is being well-received by players of the popular free-to-play game. The update is the first of the game’s patches to feature its new banner system. Rather than one banner featuring the new 5-star and 4-star characters for the respective update as well as another for reruns of previously released characters, the new system will add a second rerun banner that will be available alongside the first one. This means that during the 2.3 update, a total of three Genshin Impact character banners will be available. The two rerun banners will be released first while the new banner will be released later on.

Related: Genshin Impact 2.4: Confirmed New Playable Characters

Developer miHoYo revealed Arataki Itto’s abilities in a new blog post, alongside a character teaser trailer on the Genshin Impact YouTube channel. According to the post, Arataki Itto is a Geo claymore user whose damage primarily comes from his charged attacks due to his unique mechanic. He gains stacks of Superlative Superstrength from his normal attacks, elemental skill, and elemental burst. He can then perform a unique multi-hit charged attack by consuming the said stacks instead of stamina. His normal attack also has the unique trait of not immediately resetting its chain after the player sprints or uses Itto’s elemental skill, called Masatsu Zetsugi: Akaushi Burst.

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Watch the video on YouTube here.

Itto’s elemental skill sees him throw Ushi, described as the young akaushi bull and auxiliary member of the Genshin Impact Arataki Gang, at an opponent. The impact not only deals Geo damage but also gives Itto a stack of his Superlative Superstrength. Additionally, Ushi also remains on the field and draws the attention of enemies as well as gives Itto even more stacks whenever Ushi takes damage. Lastly, Itto’s elemental burst is called Royal Descent: Behold, Itto the Evil and not only puts Itto into an enraged state but also summons the Oni King’s Kanabou club. While Itto is in this state, all of his attacks deal Geo damage, his attack speed is increased, he gains Superlative Superstrength stacks during the first and third strike of his combo. On the flip side, Itto also takes more damage while he’s enraged.

As for the character teaser trailer, the animated video shows Itto and the other members of the Arataki Gang pulling off a mischievous stunt by taking over the performance of a stage play, even going as far as changing the script of the narration. Unfortunately, both their enjoyment and the audience’s is cut short when the Tenryou Commission, the organization led by Genshin Impact‘s Kujou Sara, arrives to arrest Itto and his crew. The trailer gives players a glimpse into the personality of Itto and the antics he and rest of the Arataki Gang may get up to.

Arataki Itto has been a character of interest since the original leaks, and the official trailer reveal and details from miHoYo have certainly cemented him as one of the most exciting characters to look into when his banner is released. Players will just have to wait until he’s available and hope they’re able to unlock him before they run out of Primogems or Wishes, but when it comes to dealing damage, the character has the potential to end up being one of the best Geo characters in Genshin Impact.

Next: Genshin Impact’s New Character Yun Jin Explained

Genshin Impact is available on PlayStation 4, PC, iOS, and Android.

Source: miHoYo, Genshin Impact/YouTube

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Genshin Impact Teaser Trailer Introduces Players To The Foolhardy Oni Arataki Itto – Noisy Pixel

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Developer miHoYo has released a new Genshin Impact teaser trailer introducing us to the new character, Arataki Itto, the head of the Arataki Gang. They constantly get caught by Inazuma’s Tenryou Commission. The trailer depicts a slightly distorted version of the humans versus oni story while providing comedic insight into Arataki Itto’s personality. In the trailer’s description, the developer states:

image 2021 12 08 012913

“When the Arataki Gang is involved, even the most traditional repertoire may usher in a new twist. Although some in the audience have enjoyed such a surprise, it has caused some trouble for the Tenryou Commission. So let’s see who will get the last laugh this time: Arataki Itto with his booming laughter, or the soldiers who are swift at maintaining law and order.”

Arataki Itto will be available for players to wish for starting December 14th. In addition, the new Geo Archer, Canine Warrior Gorou, will also release alongside Arataki Itto. Here’s the full information about the character’s voice actors and skills:

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You can view this new teaser trailer below:

[embedded content]

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that brings players to the visually stunning world of Teyvat. The player takes on the role of the mysterious “Traveler,” who sets off on a journey to discover the fate of their lost sibling and unveils the mysterious secrets of Teyvat along the way. Version 2.3, Shadows Amid Snowstorms, is currently available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC (through the official website and the Epic Games Store), Android, and iOS devices.

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Here’s What Time ‘Halo Infinite’ Launches In Your Region – Forbes

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The day has finally arrived. A year delay, a three week early release of multiplayer, and now everyone will finally be able to get their hands on the Halo Infinite campaign, and make up their minds about 343’s latest installment, and the guideposts for the next generation of Halo content from Microsoft.

You are probably waking up to check if you can play this very moment, but Halo Infinite is doing a global launch where the game releases simultaneously in all regions. So, what times does Halo Infinite launch?

December 8:

  • 10 AM PT
  • 12 PM CT + CST
  • 1 PM ET
  • 3 PM BRT
  • 6 PM GMT
  • 7 PM CET
  • 9 PM AST + MSK

December 9:

  • 2 AM HKT
  • 3 AM JST
  • 5 AM AEDT
  • 7 AM NZDT

So, essentially usual daily challenge reset time for most regions. While Halo Infinite is single player and has no co-op, online or otherwise, I would expect there possibly to be some login issues as everyone floods to it, although 343 did do a good job preventing that from happening too much during the multiplayer launch, so maybe not.

It is pretty bizarre to think that multiplayer was also supposed to be launching today. It really reinforces just how separately packaged these two halves of Halo Infinite are. Besides the different release dates, Infinite is free-to-play and the campaign is either $60 by itself, or requires a Game Pass subscription, no doubt how the majority of players will play.

It’s going to be really hard to measure the success of Halo Infinite in a traditional way, as sales will mean relatively little with its Game Pass inclusion, so expect to see some metric like “hours played” that will not mean all that much. The campaign also has zero monetization, as that’s all jammed into multiplayer instead.

Halo Infinite campaign reviews arrived a few days ago, and it’s scoring pretty high with an 86 on Metacritic. I was definitely on the lower end of reviews with a 7.5, but again, that’s just the campaign, and I’d score multiplayer significantly higher. My main issue was that the last third of the game felt too unfinished and stopped too short, but we’ll see if anyone agrees with me or not.

All my progress has been wiped from my review build, so I am diving in to replay the entire campaign again later today just like everyone else. I will work on an “early advice” tips article that will go live later today.

It’s going to be a big day for Halo fans, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone makes of Infinite. See you out there.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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