EP Daily Rundown for November 7, 2016

Today in the Rundown, we take a look at the latest character to join the Overwatch roster, have new details on BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, ponder just how much longer The Simpsons can last, have more explosively bad news from Samsung, and finally, hear about a very interesting new innovation from Adobe!

An all-new character is hacking her way into Overwatch. This past weekend during their annual BlizzCon event, Blizzard Entertainment revealed the long-rumoured new character for their online shooter. As expected, her name is Sombra, and she’s a stealthy infiltrator with plenty of unique abilities. First of all, she can hack into enemies in order to temporarily disable them. She also has a special camouflage that makes her invisible for short periods of time, along with the ability to drop a beacon that allows her to instantly teleport back to its location. Finally, Sombra has an EMP discharge that can destroy enemy barriers and shields within its radius. All of her new abilities are sure the shake up the way the game is played. PC gamers will be able to test Sombra out later this week. Blizzard hasn’t said when she’ll get an official release, but hopefully she’ll be available on all platforms soon.

The distant Andromeda galaxy has given up a few of its secrets. EA and BioWare have released the first cinematic story trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Players will take the role of a new character known only as Pathfinder, who leads humanity’s search for a new homeworld in the distant and unexplored Andromeda galaxy. Since this is a completely new setting, you’ll encounter new alien races, strange new worlds, and unexpected new threats. Like the previous games, you’ll be able to chart your own course through the story with every decision you make, and there’s also a flexible progression system and squad-based combat. There are rumours that the game will also have 4-player co-op, although this hasn’t been confirmed by EA. Mass Effect: Andromeda still doesn’t have a precise release date yet, but it’s slated to hit Earth in Spring 2017. It’ll be available simultaneously on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and is one of many titles that will be optimized for the new PS4 Pro.

America’s favorite nuclear family is going to be around a for a lot longer. Fox has renewed The Simpsons for unprecedented 29th and 30th seasons. It’s already the longest-running scripted primetime show in US history – no other has lasted this many seasons, not by a long shot. The next three runners up are Gunsmoke, Law & Order, and South Park, which have lasted 20 season each, so The Simpsons has them beat. As for number of episodes, Gunsmoke had 635, because shows had more episodes per season back then, but the two new seasons of The Simpsons will bring its count to 669, so it’s got it beat there, too. The producing team behind The Simpsons has vowed to keep going well into the future, so expect it to be renewed for even more new seasons before these two are finished. As for how many of these new episodes will actually be worth watching? Many old school Simpsons fans have complained that the show hasn’t been good for decades, but I guess the rest of the world doesn’t agree.

It looks like Samsung has another problem that’s blown up in their face. Just weeks after recalling the Galaxy Note 7 over a defective battery that can literally explode in your hand, Samsung has had to issue a massive recall for another one of their products. This time it’s their washing machines. The company has been forced to recall 34 different top-loaded washing machine models over a potentially dangerous design flaw that can cause the lids to unexpectedly detach and fly off during use. Talk about blowing your top. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 733 people have reported the problem, and the recall covers almost 3 million units. Samsung says that they’re committed to customer safety and are working with the Product Safety Commission to make sure the recall is handled properly. I guess you can add ‘washing machine’ to the list of Samsung products you’re not allowed to carry with you onto an airplane.

Here’s something that’s going to come in handy for anyone who’s ever tried to make a video or audio recording. At their recent Adobe MAX 2016 conference, Adobe, the company behind Photoshop and the video editing program Premiere, debuted a futuristic new voice editing program called VoCo. Basically, it allows you to take an audio recording of someone’s voice and move their words around inside a text window, just like in a word processor, but then the software automatically adjusts the audio to match what you’ve written. This gives you a much easier way to retool what someone has said, so you won’t have to re-record a line of dialogue if a word or two are out of place, which, as any editor will tell you, can be very difficult sometimes. On the downside, software like this could be abused in any number of ways, making it seem like people have said and done things that they haven’t. Adobe says that it’s still in the prototype stage, so don’t expect to see it on your desktop for at least a few years.

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