'Neon Genesis Evangelion' comes to Netflix June 21st


Netflix’s flood of content includes a significant anime pushGhost in the Shell, Ultraman — and as part of that it’s going to be the first streamer with Neon Genesis Evangelion on tap, worldwide. The classic series will go live on Netflix June 21st, complete with all 26 episodes plus the two films: Evangelion: Death True² and The End of Evangelion. There’s a brief trailer to help reacquaint you with its mech action and melodrama, but we figure you can just mark your calendar.

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DC Universe celebrates Batman's birthday with free access March 30th

Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Batman is about to celebrate his 80th ‘birthday’ (his first appearance in Detective Comics) on March 30th, and DC Universe is using that as an opportunity to hand out more freebies. The service is providing free access to a wide swath of its Batman movies, TV shows and (of course) comics for 24 hours that day, starting at midnight EST. It doesn’t include everything — most notably, Christopher Nolan’s movies will remain locked behind a subscription. However, you’ll still have access to quite a large chunk of the Dark Knight’s catalog.

The pre-Nolan Batman movies will be free, whether it’s classics like the 1989 Tim Burton release or, er, less-than-well-received titles like Batman & Robin. There’s also a veritable deluge of cartoons, including the legendary Batman: The Animated Series and Super Friends. DC is somewhat choosier with its comics, but this still includes some issues of Detective Comics (sadly not Batman’s debut in #27), Batman and Son and the Superman/Batman series.

Naturally, there’s a hard sell involved. Anyone who’s new to DC Universe can get their first month for 80 cents (get it?) between midnight EST on March 29th and the end of April 4th. It’s clearly hoping you’ll be sufficiently enthralled that you’ll pay for a subscription after the free day is over. Nonetheless, it’s still a relatively pain-free opportunity to see if you’ll like what the service has to offer.

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The Morning After: Trying out Nintendo's Labo VR goggles

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

After a week full of reveals and announcements, we’re taking a closer look at Google’s Stadia promises and everything Apple’s updated iPads have to offer. Also, Nintendo is getting (back) into VR, and Comcast has an internet TV box.

Can a game platform for everyone work well for anyone?Google is convinced it can get game streaming right

Aside from 4K, HDR and 60 fps, as well as game-loading times as short as three seconds (all from a link, no less), Google is already talking about one day streaming games in 8K and 120 fps on Stadia. In an interview with Engadget, exec Phil Harrison explains why we should believe any of it is going to be possible.

Wait, what?Microsoft Defender is jumping from Windows to Mac

Just days after launching Windows Defender extensions for Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft is bringing its anti-malware package to more platforms, starting with the Mac. Of course, it no longer makes sense to call it Windows Defender, so now it’s Microsoft Defender.

Just Pro enough.Apple iPad Air hands-on (2019)

We don’t have a full review ready for you yet, but after a few days, we already have some opinions to share about the updated iPad Air (and, of course, an iPad mini that’s getting its first refresh in three years). When it comes to the Air, Chris Velazco says that “there’s little new ground broken here — you’ll mostly find a bunch of very practical refinements and choices made to manage costs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.”

$5 per month for Comcast’s X1-powered take on Roku and Fire TV.Comcast launches Xfinity Flex internet streaming TV

The latest option for cord cutters is coming from… a cable company? Xfinity Flex will launch next week, with streaming set-top boxes powered by the same X1 interface seen on Comcast’s latest cable boxes. Offered only to people with Comcast internet, it pulls in both free internet video options like YouTube and Cheddar TV, in addition to popular pay services from Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and Showtime.

So why pay a monthly fee to Comcast instead of using built-in TV apps or something like an Apple TV, Roku or Fire TV? For people who need a little more help making the shift away from cable, easy access to customer support and a familiar grid guide might help — and for Comcast, provide the chance for an easy cable TV upsell. Or you could save a few bucks and cut Comcast out entirely.

It’s not another Virtual Boy.Nintendo’s Labo turns the Switch into a perfect VR gateway

The handful of experiences included in Nintendo’s latest Labo kit for the Switch were enough to convince Devindra Hardawar that the company knows what it’s doing. Despite the limitations of the cardboard setup and a 720P Switch display, it’s “centered around accessibility and brief moments of surprise and delight.” The complete kit ships for $80 on April 12th, but take a look at our hands-on video before diving in.

Don’t call it a discount.Tesla’s ‘sustainable’ referral program limits free Supercharging

When Tesla axed its original referral program because it was getting too expensive to keep up, Elon Musk said the company isn’t replacing it with a new one. Just a few weeks later, it has been replaced, and when someone purchases a Tesla using a friend’s referral code, both of them will get 1,000 miles of Supercharging for free.

They’ll also get one chance to win a Founder’s Series Model Y, monthly, and a Founder’s series Roadster supercar, quarterly. Both cars will be signed by Musk and Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen. If the referrer already has unlimited Supercharging, they’ll get two chances to win per referral instead.

Get ready for ‘show time.’What to expect from Apple’s streaming-video event

After high-profile flops like Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, it’s a bit tough to feel that excited about whatever Apple is cooking up — but there’s always the chance it could offer something truly unique. Beyond its TV service, we could see even more TV partnerships announced at the media event, as well as a release date for iOS 12.2. We might also get a peek at Apple’s subscription news service, though it doesn’t quite fit in with the entertainment tone of the event.

But wait, there’s more…

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Steam's redesigned library will show what's happening with your games

Valve Software

Steam’s ages-old game library screen is getting a much-needed overhaul. Valve has previewed a redesign that keeps the familiar column of games on the left, but shakes up seemingly everything else. You’ll see rows for your recently played games and, crucially, game updates — if there’s a new character or an important upgrade, you’ll know it right away. Your friends list will also appear directly in the library to help you leap into their multiplayer matches.

The tags you see in the Steam store will also help you find games in the library. You can look for just your open world titles, as an example.

Valve is also teasing an upcoming Events page (below) that will shed even more light on what’s happening with your game. You’ll see updates, but you’ll also see news of tournaments, livestreams and other happenings with the games in your collection. It’s an acknowledgment that many games are treated more like services and may need a steady stream of info, not just the occasional patch.

There’s no specific time frame for when you can expect to see the redesign, although Valve told PC Gamer that it was hoping for a beta in the summer.

The upgrades might be necessary. The Epic Game Store is rapidly adding features, and might entice more people as it matures. This won’t necessarily have gamers or developers flocking to Steam if they were on the fence, but it might make them happier to stay there.

Steam Events page preview

Catch up on all the latest news from GDC 2019 here!

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A week with Twitter's attempt at a more civil internet

Over the past few months, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been adamant that one of his goals is to “increase the health of public conversation” on the site. Because it’s no secret that, as great as Twitter is at connecting you with people across the world, it’s also great at connecting you with bots, trolls and spam. Unsurprisingly, Twitter wants to change that. And it’s hoping to find a solution by publicly testing new conversation features, through an experimental program that users can apply to participate in. This launched last week as an app called Twttr, which I’ve been using as my main tool for reading and writing tweets for the past week.

With Twttr, the company says it wants to make conversations easier to read, understand and join. And to do that it’s using features like color-coded chat bubbles to help you browse threads more efficiently. For instance, if someone you follow replies to one of your tweets, their response will be highlighted by a light-blue tag, making it easier to spot. This can be particularly helpful if you have a large number of followers, or have a tweet that goes viral and generates a lot of responses. It’s intended to filter out the noise and keep you engaged with people you actually know, as opposed to strangers.

Alternatively, if someone you don’t follow starts a conversation with you, their tweets will have a grey tag, similar to the “Original Tweeter” label Twitter has tried in the past. It’s clear that Twitter wants to make the biggest changes to how you interact with others in your mentions, since the tweaks there go deeper than colored bubbles. In Twttr, there are thread indentations designed to help you keep track of replies that may branch off from the main conversation. Those are complemented by a “show more” button which hides responses that, according to Twitter, may be abusive or spammy.

A closer look at Twitter's prototype app.

So far, the experience isn’t drastically different, compared to the main Twitter app. But there are aspects of the beta that I’m starting to like, such as the colored chat bubbles that make it easier to keep up with a conversation. At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that the Twttr app doesn’t support all of Twitter’s mobile features. That includes the revamped camera, which makes it hard for me to use the prototype app as my daily driver.

It’s too early to tell whether these experimental features will manage to successfully filter bots, trolls or spammers completely out of your mentions. But, I have noticed that the color-coded labels and indented tweets let me follow threads more easily. And they help me decide which replies I actually want to read and interact with. Meanwhile, the “show more” can filter out people who may be trolling, although I have come across tweets that aren’t abusive or spammy in some of its hidden replies.

I think what bugs me the most about the “show more” feature is that, if a thread within a thread becomes too long, it just looks odd. Basically, the more you scroll to read the responses, the smaller the tweet boxes get, and that makes it extremely difficult and tedious to read tweets.

Twitter wants threads to be a place for more healthier conversations, and something that can get in the way of that are likes and retweets, two engagement tools that Dorsey has said aren’t necessarily the right incentives for people. That’s why in Twttr, the heart and retweet icons aren’t visible at first when you’re browsing threads — they only show up once you tap to reply to a tweet. If you do tap and hold either button, you can see who retweeted or liked a tweet. And although you can still see and interact with the icons on your main feed, this shows that Twitter and Dorsey are at least considering getting rid of the like button in some areas of the social network.

Still, Twitter has made it clear that these features might never make it beyond Twttr and into its main application. That said, it’s a good way to at least get an idea of the ways the company is thinking about changing the service. Naturally, the whole point of Twttr is to get your feedback on its experiments and, if you get accepted into the prototype program, you can share your thoughts with the company directly from the app. Twitter is sending surveys periodically, as well, which ask you about your experience with reading replies or whether you prefer the Twttr or Twitter apps.

You can expect Twttr to keep changing as Twitter continues to roll out new experimental features, such as letting you subscribe to relevant threads — which leaked recently but hasn’t made its way to the Twttr app yet. I do hope that Twitter brings some of the features from its main app to Twttr, though, because right now the new Stories-style camera doesn’t work. That means I’m having to switch back and forth between the two apps, and that’s basically the only thing keeping me from using Twttr all the time

Gallery: Twttr hands-on | 8 Photos

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