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Top stories summarized by our editors
1/15/2021

One more gaming story for the week, and it’s one that doesn’t seem to have a clear end in sight. CD Projekt Red’s co-founder Marcin Iwiński offered a video apology for the fiasco that has been Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles – it was one of the most hotly anticipated games of all time, but launched late last year in such a bad state on consoles that it’s been pulled from stores.

While the PC version fared much better, its buggy performance on the whole has been a blow to developer CD Projekt Red’s previously-stellar reputation. Iwiński said that he and the entire leadership team are "deeply sorry" for how the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game "did not meet the quality standard [CDPR] wanted it to meet", and that the misguided approach of "wanting to make the game look epic on PCs, and then adjusting it to consoles – especially old-gens" was a poor one, with the developer underestimating the hardware gap.

So what’s next for the game? Expect two large patches to land, one imminently and the other in February, with continual smaller updates from there on. The planned free DLC has been pushed back to later in the year, while you’re not going to see the made-for-next-gen PS5 or Xbox Series X updates until the second half of the year.

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techradar.com
1/15/2021

Remember the classic Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk gets landed with a load of furry aliens called Tribbles? Now you too can (sort of) own one! One of the weirder products on show at CES 2021 was the Moflin, an AI pet robot with "emotional capabilities" that looks like a fluffy gray guinea pig with black beady eyes.

It'll writhe around as you interact with it thanks to built-in touch sensors, microphones, and accelerometers with gyroscopes, and Vanguard Industries, which makes the Moflin, claims that each critter will eventually develop its own personality based on "how their owners treat them".

Pledging $400 (about £290) to its Kickstarter campaign will bag you your very own Moflin, with delivery expected by June. That's a good deal more affordable than the lifetime cost of owning a flesh-and-blood pet - you'll just have to hope it doesn't reproduce at an exponential rate, Tribble-style.

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techradar.com
1/15/2021

I don't drive, but even I can see that this is cool. The Hyperion XP-1 electric car was turning (virtual, socially distanced) heads at CES 2021, thanks to its futuristic design and remarkably forward-thinking approach to energy and fuel.

Unlike most electric vehicles, which use lithium ion batteries, the Hyperion XP-1 uses hydrogen. You'd fill its tank up with hydrogen the same way you'd pop petrol into a regular car, but thanks to its design and the absence of a giant battery, the XP-1 is much lighter.

A lighter car makes for not only a faster car, but also one that can go much greater distances without needing a top-up - still a key concern with electric vehicles while charging networks are slowly rolled out. But it's the core specs that will make car fanatics' jaws really drop - it manages a top speed of 221mph, and can go fro 0-60 in just 2.2 seconds, all while squeezing 1,000 miles out a single tank of gas.

Oh, and it looks pretty cool, too.

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techradar.com
1/15/2021

Finding it hard to handle the ongoing isolation of lockdown? Spare a thought, then, for the little old Mars Curiosity rover – it's now spent 3,000 days on its lonesome on the Red Planet, and is still sending back cool photos.

After touching down on August 5, 2012, Curiosity has spent its days trekking around the Gale Crater, a 96-mile wide dent in the surface of the planet. The rover's observations have suggested that an ancient lake and stream system likely persisted there for millions of years in the past, increasing the likelihood that evidence of some form of life may one day be found there. Curiosity is currently exploring the slopes of Mount Sharp within the crater, a journey it's been on since September 2014.

It's been a solitary existence, but Curiosity is soon to get a buddy, in the shape of the new Perseverance rover, which is set to touch down on Mars in a few weeks. Here's hoping they adhere to social-distancing rules...

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space.com
1/15/2021

By Jim Beaugez. A smooth-sounding signal chain is crucial for a podcast that puts you to sleep (on purpose). Podcaster Christopher Fitton shares how he learned the audio ropes while racking up 2 million listeners every month with his hypnotherapy show, Sleep Cove.

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Pro Sound News
1/15/2021

By Clive Young. Nashville pop singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor ("All About That Bass") put down $6.6 million in late 2020 for an LA mansion; let's take a look at the home studio that came with it and do some gear trainspotting.

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Pro Sound News
1/15/2021

The Tula Microphone is a portable recorder/USB-C mic with an embedded version of Swedish music software company Klevgrand's noise reduction algorithm, Brusfri.

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Pro Sound News
1/15/2021

Iconic brands such as NordicTrack and Bowflex made their mark at CES 2021 with home fitness platforms, offering personal training solutions in the wake of gyms shuttering across the country during the pandemic. Other notable smart fitness offerings include iFit ActivePulse and Hyfit.

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CNET
1/15/2021

Utelogy's Analytic Tiles improve the management of companies' AV and UC estates by providing deep-level insights into device usage, space utilization, system performance, asset management, alert data, and more.

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AV Network
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Utelogy
1/15/2021

Senior director of market intelligence looks at how the various sectors were impacted in 2020, and positive indications for 2021 and beyond.

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Installation (UK)
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Sean Wargo