Posts with «sports & recreation» label

X’s AI bot is so dumb it can’t tell the difference between a bad game and vandalism

Last night, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a rough outing shooting 0 for 10 in a loss against the Sacramento Kings, ending the team’s chances of making the NBA playoffs. But then, almost as if to add insult to injury, X’s AI bot Grok generated a trending story claiming Thompson was vandalizing homes in the area with bricks.

Now at this point, even casual basketball fans may be able to see what went wrong. But Grok isn’t very smart, because it seems that after seeing user posts about a player simply missing a bunch of shots (aka shooting bricks), the bot took things literally resulting in a completely fictitious AI-generated report.

After misinterpreting user posts about Klay Thompson's poor shooting during an NBA game, X's AI bot Grok created a fictitious story on the social media platform's trending section. 
Screenshot by Sam Rutherford (via X)

In the event this fabrication — which was the #5 trending story at the time of writing — gets corrected or deleted by Elon Musk, Grok originally wrote “In a bizarre turn of events, NBA star Klay Thompson has been accused of vandalizing multiple houses with bricks in Sacramento. Authorities are investigating the claims after several individuals reported their houses being damaged, with windows shattered by bricks. Klay Thompson has not yet issued a statement regarding the accusations. The incidents have left the community shaken, but no injuries were reported. The motive behind the alleged vandalism remains unclear.” Amusingly, despite pointing out the unusual nature of the story Grok went ahead of put out some nonsense anyway.

Granted, in fine print beneath the story, X says “Grok is an early feature and can make mistakes. Verify its outputs.” But even that warning seems to have backfired, as basketball fans began memeing on the AI with posts sarcastically verifying the AI’s erroneous statement.

After Grok created an erroneous story about Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, users began memeing on the situation. 
Screenshot by Sam Rutherford (via X)

For most people, Grok’s latest gaff may merely be another example in an ongoing series of early AI tools messing up. But for others like Musk who believes that AI will be smarter than humans as soon as the end of next year, this should serve as a reminder that AI is still in desperate need of regular fact-checking.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/xs-ai-bot-is-so-dumb-it-cant-tell-the-difference-between-a-bad-game-and-vandalism-172707401.html?src=rss

Watch Nintendo's Indie World stream here at 10AM ET

It's time for another video game showcase and this time around, Nintendo's stepping up to the plate. The company's latest Indie World stream takes place today at 10AM ET and you can watch it above.

The showcase is slated to last for around 20 minutes and it will feature announcements and updates on games that are coming to Nintendo Switch this year. With only Endless Ocean Luminous, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on the docket as things stand, the first-party calendar is looking pretty sparse in the run up to the Switch's successor, which is rumored to arrive in early 2025. So giving fans some exciting indies to look forward to in the meantime is a smart idea.  

There are some signs that Hollow Knight: Silksong may show up during the showcase. It wouldn't be a surprise to see updates on some of the year's biggest hits, such as Balatro

One thing I'm especially curious about is whether we'll ever see Palworld on Switch. That enormous hit is effectively a survival-based spin on Pokémon. Given Nintendo's close association with that franchise and The Pokémon Company, a Switch port of Palworld seems unlikely, but hey, some strange things have already happened in the video game world this year.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/watch-nintendos-indie-world-stream-here-at-10am-et-123008283.html?src=rss

Overwatch 2 introduces harsher punishments for players who leave mid-match

Blizzard is taking mid-match leaves on Overwatch 2 more seriously and is implementing harsher punishments when Season 10 arrives. People playing Unranked games won't be able to join a queue for five minutes after leaving two of their last 20 games. And if they leave at least 10 out of the last 20, they'll be suspended for 48 hours. Players probably want to be even more careful when it comes to leaving Competitive games, though, because doing so 10 times out of 20 will get them banned for the rest of the season. In its announcement, Blizzard said that while it's aware not everyone abandons a game on purpose, these changes "should help curb those players who deliberately choose to leave a match." 

Blizzard

The developer is also making it easier for groups of friends to play together in Competitive mode, no matter their rank, by introducing "wide groups." A wide group is defined by having players from a wide range of ranks, from Diamond to tiers up to five Skill Divisions lower. Blizzard admits that opting for the new queue option will mean longer wait times, since it has to pair a wide group with another wide group with similar ranks in order to be fair. But it's hoping that the new feature will eliminate the need to use an alt account when playing with friends. 

The company is also adding new features designed to help prevent abuse and harassment in-game. People will soon be able to add up to 10 players in their "Avoid as Teammate" list instead of just three. It's also making it easy to report disruptive behavior by updating its reporting interface. Finally, Blizzard is blocking a player's access to text or voice chat in their matches if they were found to have engaged in abusive behavior and have broken the company's code of conduct. They can only get those privileges back if they spend time playing Overwatch 2 in their best behavior.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2-introduces-harsher-punishments-for-players-who-leave-mid-match-021319507.html?src=rss

Overwatch 2 will punish players who leave mid-match more severely

Blizzard is taking mid-match leaves on Overwatch 2 more seriously and is implementing harsher punishments when Season 10 arrives. People playing Unranked games won't be able to join a queue for five minutes after leaving two of their last 20 games. And if they leave at least 10 out of the last 20, they'll be suspended for 48 hours. Players probably want to be even more careful when it comes to leaving Competitive games, though, because doing so 10 times out of 20 will get them banned for the rest of the season. In its announcement, Blizzard said that while it's aware not everyone abandons a game on purpose, these changes "should help curb those players who deliberately choose to leave a match." 

Blizzard

The developer is also making it easier for groups of friends to play together in Competitive mode, no matter their rank, by introducing "wide groups." A wide group is defined by having players from a wide range of ranks, from Diamond to tiers up to five Skill Divisions lower. Blizzard admits that opting for the new queue option will mean longer wait times, since it has to pair a wide group with another wide group with similar ranks in order to be fair. But it's hoping that the new feature will eliminate the need to use an alt account when playing with friends. 

The company is also adding new features designed to help prevent abuse and harassment in-game. People will soon be able to add up to 10 players in their "Avoid as Teammate" list instead of just three. It's also making it easy to report disruptive behavior by updating its reporting interface. Finally, Blizzard is blocking a player's access to text or voice chat in their matches if they were found to have engaged in abusive behavior and have broken the company's code of conduct. They can only get those privileges back if they spend time playing Overwatch 2 in their best behavior.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2-will-punish-players-who-leave-mid-match-more-severely-021319064.html?src=rss

Massively co-op game 33 Immortals will have a closed beta at the end of May

33 Immortals feels like a game that's going to need a lot of pre-release testing, and thankfully, that's exactly what developers at Thunder Lotus are setting up. Following a smaller alpha test, the closed beta for 33 Immortals will kick off on May 24 and run through June 2. Interested players can sign up to participate at the game's official site.

Aside from the Dante's Inferno-inspired landscape and retro-cartoony visuals, the unique draw of 33 Immortals is its raid size. The game features 33-player co-op with a cast of seven unique fighters, and each round lasts about 25 minutes. It's all raids, all the time, and felled players are able to be revived if another warrior takes the time to chase down their ghost.

UK Bureau Chief Mat Smith got his hands on 33 Immortals at Summer Game Fest 2023 and he saw the potential in Thunder Lotus' idea, writing, "With plenty of enemies on-screen, especially in the more challenging portal dungeons, it’s a lot of fun just chaotically spamming attacks, helping the rest of your team finish off mid-bosses, or picking off easier foes at a distance before they coordinate their attacks." And that was with just six players at once — now add 27 more, and that's the base chaos level of this game.

33 Immortals is due to enter early access on the Epic Games Store, Xbox Series X/S and PC via Xbox later this year, and it'll be available on Game Pass.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/massively-co-op-game-33-immortals-will-have-a-closed-beta-at-the-end-of-may-174022411.html?src=rss

Formula E kills its latest junior series just days before the first scheduled race

Just four days before the first race of its latest all-electric junior racing series was set to take place, Formula E said the NXT Gen Cup will not be part of the World Championship calendar this season. The cancellation is "due to unexpected constraints faced by the support series,” a Formula E spokesperson said in a statement.

The NXT Gen Cup was scheduled to be part of the four European events in Formula E's Season 10, including this weekend's Misano E-Prix double-header. However, according to The Race, there were last-minute hitches in a deal between Formula E and the support series' organizer, Fredrik Lestrup and the Lestrup Racing Team.

As a result, the electric Mini Cooper SE-based NXT Gen Cup (which debuted at a few events last year) is off the calendar for the time being. Formula E previously ran the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy support series between 2018 and 2020, but that didn't prove successful.

The NXT Gen Cup decision has left Formula E scrambling to pad out the slate of activities available for fans at Italian circuit Misano. Organizers have added pit-lane autograph sessions, additional pit walks and expanded other promotional activities.

There's arguably more concern for the drivers, engineers and other team members who were set to take part in the NXT Gen Cup. Races were planned to include male and female drivers, many of whom were under 17. The circuit would have given them valuable experience as Formula E and motorsport as a whole attempts to blood the next generation of competitors. However, a spokesperson said that “Formula E remains committed to nurturing the next generation of talent through FIA Girls on Track and other impactful initiatives for young people.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/formula-e-kills-its-latest-junior-series-just-days-before-the-first-scheduled-race-180029941.html?src=rss

It's the last day to get up to 42 percent off annual Max subscriptions

This is your last day to snag a decent deal on a subscription to Max, the streaming service that has nothing to do with Cinemax and everything to do with HBO. Annual subscriptions are up to 42 percent off, depending on the tier. The discount is available to both new and returning subscribers, just in time for the second season of House of the Dragon.

The best deal knocks $100 off the Ultimate plan, which offers an ad-free 4K viewing experience. The grand total here will be $140 per year, instead of $240. The next step down is a mid-level plan that also drops the ads, but there’s no option for 4K streaming. This plan costs $150 per year, instead of $192. Finally, there’s the ad-supported plan, which costs $70 per year as part of this deal. Sure, it might seem weird to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm (RIP) with commercials, but it gets the job done.

The deals apply no matter how you sign up for the Max, including directly from the website, through the Apple App Store or Google Play. There’s one major caveat, as only new subscribers via Fire TV are eligible. All of this is tied to March Madness, as Max is streaming all 2024 Division I NCAA men's basketball championship games, along with other live sports.

For those too busy to memorize the comings and goings of multinational streaming platforms, Max is a service that combines HBO’s programming with content from Discovery+. So you can watch all five seasons of the critically-acclaimed crime series The Wire and chase it down with 47 seasons of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, as nature intended. Max is a weird streamer to pin down, but there’s certainly a glut of content to choose from. There's a reason we named it one of the best streaming services out there.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/its-the-last-day-to-get-up-to-42-percent-off-annual-max-subscriptions-130009276.html?src=rss

Hyundai's Ioniq 5 N eN1 Cup car brings extreme EV performance to the track

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is one of the most extreme EVs you can buy at the moment. With over 600 horsepower delivered to all four wheels, plus a plethora of drive modes that help you do everything from circuit racing to drifting, it's a truly wild ride.

But it's about to get even wilder. Meet the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 N eN1 Cup car. This is a lightweight, caged, and big-winged version of Hyundai's rocket ship, tuned to such an extreme level that it isn't even road legal. Yes, this one's strictly for racing, and Hyundai is launching a focused racing series for the 5 N later this year.

Ahead of that, I headed to Korea to take it for a drive on a closed track. Inje Speedium is a tricky circuit with lots of elevation changes, and despite some inclement weather the Ioniq 5 N eN1 proved to be a masterful drive. And, at $100,000, for a track-ready machine, it's surprisingly value-priced. Watch the video above for the full story.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/hyundais-ioniq-5-n-en1-cup-car-brings-extreme-ev-performance-to-the-track-160024376.html?src=rss

Form’s smart swimming goggles get refined for 2024

In 2019, Form launched a pair of goggles with a built-in display showing real-time data when you swim. Given how many things the company got right the first time around, the word of the day for its successor, the Smart Swim 2, is refinement. But a handful of incremental improvements also means there's no scream-from-the-rooftops reason to upgrade.

Smart Swim is a pair of fancy swim goggles with a chunky box (the “tech pack”) attached to one eye cup and a crystal in the corresponding lens. With it, you can see your statistics like your heart rate, distance, split times and more on a waveguide display without ever having to break your cadence.

Plenty about Swim 2 is carried over from the first model, including the two-button user interface, display resolution (72 x 40) and many of the internals. The addition of the heart rate sensor (which the company says has been tweaked to work well in water) has shaved down the battery life down to 12 hours from 16. But I’m not sure that’s a real issue unless you’re planning on swimming the English Channel.

Instead, Form has nipped and tucked at the existing model, with the tech pack being 15 percent smaller than its predecessor. Comfort and fit have also been worked on, with longer, more adjustable straps and a broader range of swappable nose bridges. Oh, and there were a couple of features that Form built into the first-generation hardware that have, until now, remained dormant. More on that later.

History

Form founder Dan Eisenhardt was in on the ground floor of the wearables craze of the 2010s. His last company, Recon Instruments, was building head-mounted displays long before Google pushed Glass out of the door. After initially considering, and then abandoning plans to make a swimming-focused wearable, it launched a pair of smart goggles for skiing in partnership with Oakley before making Jet, a cycling-focused unit under its own name.

These early successes attracted the attention of Intel while it was looking for the next big thing in computing. It bought Recon, among other wearables companies, with the smart business strategy of… running them all into the ground before cutting its losses a few years later. Once Recon had been scuttled, Eisenhardt and his colleagues went back to the product they had originally founded Recon to pursue, a head-worn swimming display.

Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

In use

It’s not a complicated process to get started once you’ve downloaded the app and paired it with your goggles. Turn it on with a long press of the power button and cycle through the options menu with the other button. You can opt for a pool, open water or a swim spa — the latter available for specific partner gyms. If you’re in the pool, you can then select its length from a list of standard options and press start, with the headwear tracking your motion automatically.

If I’m honest, not a huge amount has changed from the first version in terms of operation and use. If you’d like more details, then you can head back and read my original review which will hold you in pretty good stead. The only differences, really, are that you get your heart rate on the display. And, if memory serves, the markers showing you when the headgear thinks you’re swimming and when you’re at rest are clearer and more regularly updated. But that’s it, really.

Now, remember when I referenced that the first-generation Form had some extra gear on board that was left dormant? SwimStraight is making its debut on the Swim 2 but will also come to the first-generation hardware — so long as you sign up for the premium app subscription. You see, there’s a magnetometer in the tech pack that can act as a compass, and will give you a live directional bearing as you swim. When activated, the bottom half of the display transforms into the compass view, showing you a relatively precise heading.

SwimStraight is designed for open water swimmers who would otherwise rely upon landmarks to chart their course. For instance, if you’re doing a lap in a lake or out at sea, you might be breaking your stroke once every few minutes to make sure you’re lined up with a buoy. But the company showed me GPS telemetry data showing that these intermittent corrections cause swimmers to veer off course a lot. Whereas, if there’s a live compass bearing in your eye at all times, you’ll be able to keep more or less to your intended path.

I’m not going to lie, this feature impressed me far more than it had any business doing, given the low-ish tech nature of the hardware. Thrash your head around and you might force a slight delay as the compass catches up to your orientation but otherwise it’s very quick.

HeadCoach, meanwhile, launched last fall on the first-generation goggles and is similarly held behind the Premium paywall. The system looks at various elements of your form, like the pitch and roll of your head, and how quickly you turn your head to the side to breathe. It then scores you out of 99 for each of these facets, with video lessons and suggestions to get better. You can then set these suggestions onto your goggles for the next time you go into the pool, so you can get a real sense of what you’re doing and how to improve matters.

Form’s Smart Swim 2 is available today across the world, priced at $249 in the US and $339 in Canada. Its predecessor now has a 1 appended to its name and will remain on sale for $179, offering a more affordable entry-point for wary would-be swimmers. Here’s the thing, I actually think that the Smart Swim 1 with Premium is probably a more compelling option for many people. That’s not a diss against the 2 so much as praise for how good the existing model already was. Look, if you’re a Serious Triathlete who cares about your split times and owns a Garmin the size of the Cullinan Diamond, get the 2. But if you’re a better swimmer than I am (and it wouldn’t be hard) but would like some real-time data in the water, get the 1.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/forms-smart-swimming-goggles-get-refined-for-2024-150056789.html?src=rss

Max annual subscriptions are 40 percent off right now

You still have a few more days to save 40 percent on a year's subscription to Max. The discount is available to new subscribers (and some existing ones) and includes every plan the streaming service offers. The top tier subscription is for the ad-free, 4K plan which will now cost $140 annually instead of $240. The mid-level plan is also ad-free but doesn't support 4K content. Thanks to these Max streaming deals that level is $105 for the year, instead of $192. The cheapest Max subscription is ad-supported and now $70 yearly, which works out to $5.83 per month as opposed to the usual $10. Max will run the discounts until Tuesday, April 9th.  

Not only is the deal open to all new subscribers, existing subscribers who buy their service direct from Max.com can also take advantage. If you're a returning subscriber and previously went through Max.com, the Apple App Store or Google Play, you can also get the discount. Unfortunately, only new subscribers via Fire TV are eligible. The timing of the deal is tied to March Madness promotions, as Max will stream all 2024 Division I NCAA men's basketball championship games live, along with other live sports

For those who don't remember, Max is the name given to the streaming service that combines HBO's programming with Discovery+ content. While the name may be less memorable, the smooshing of the two services means more content to peruse — from brands like HGTV and Food Network — in addition to fine HBO fare like The Last of Us and True Detective. It's also where you can find Studio Ghibli films and A24 movies. Plus Our Flag Means Death, though canceled, was superb. There's a reason we named Max one of the best streaming services out there. 

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/max-annual-subscriptions-are-40-percent-off-right-now-222339611.html?src=rss