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Sure, we already have Tokyo Jungle, Nintendogs, Valiant Hearts, Fallout and plenty of other franchises starring adorable pups, but there's always room for more. Home Free is about a dog living on the streets of various cities, searching for food, friends and shelter while trying to stay out of trouble. It features more than 12 dog breeds with customizable colors and markings, and the environments are all randomly generated, so they're unique to each player. As creator Kevin Cancienne puts it, "Shape the story of one dog's survival through your choices and actions. Experience the the world from the perspective a creature who will never quite understand why that world acts the way it does." (Seriously, Cancienne, if the dogs die in this game we're going to be heartbroken.) Home Free just got picked up for PlayStation 4 alongside a planned launch on PC and Mac in fall 2016. Cancienne launched a $50,000 Kickstarter for Home Free on September 30th and it was funded within five days; the campaign is still live now.

A team of researchers from Japan's Chiba Institute of Technology recently presented a novel robot design at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. It can be thrown like the Explorer camera sphere, but after it stops rolling, this nimble quadruped unfurls mechanical legs to skitter the rest of the way to its destination -- basically the same idea as Star Wars' Droideka, just without the laser cannons (yet).

When we asked for your Super Mario Maker levels you guys and gals responded in a big way. Don't believe us? We have a Gmail folder with over 300 responses to prove you otherwise, and more keep coming in every day. Sean and myself were absolutely floored by the creativity the Playdate community showed and honestly it was hard to narrow the field down to just 30 or so entires. Sadly we had to do just that because we only have two hours to broadcast. Did your masterpiece make the cut? Tune in starting at 6PM Eastern / 3PM Pacific and find out as we run through nothing but community-built death traps either on this post, the Engadget Gaming homepage or if you want to join in our chat.

Must Reads

  • Google registers two delivery drones for US testing (update)

    Google X's Project Wing concept was a unique take on the delivery drone: a single-winged UAV that took off and landed vertically. Despite extensive testing in Australia, the plan didn't work as well as the company hoped. In March this year Google X head Astro Teller announced the organization was working...

  • Tesla batteries will help power California office buildings

    Tesla is about to prove that its energy storage batteries aren't just meant for saving money (and possibly, the environment) at home. The Irvine Company plans to outfit office buildings across California with Tesla battery farms that, in an initial phase, will both reduce electricity demand at peak...

Microsoft Edge on a Surface tablet

Just because Internet Explorer sits on the sidelines in Windows 10 doesn't mean you're safe from IE-specific exploits. Microsoft has released a patch for a "critical" flaw in the browser that lets attackers remotely control just about any semi-recent version of Windows, ranging from Vista to 10, just by serving you a maliciously-coded web page. The likelihood of running into an exploit is slim if you prefer to use Edge or a third-party browser, but you'll probably want to get the fix regardless... just in case you feel nostalgic enough to click on that blue E.

App Car Service Startups Continue To Irk Traditional Cab Companies And Regulators

According to California law, the rules governing legal liability for ride-sharing services can get pretty tricky, depending on whether the passenger is waiting to be picked up, is getting into the cab or is currently en route to their destination. What's more, the law doesn't currently really specify which insurance -- either the company's or the driver's -- is to be used, only that a driver must be "fully insured" at all times. But thanks to a recent ruling by California's insurance commissioner, Lyft drivers themselves (and their Ubering counterparts) will now be covered from the time their patrons request a pickup through dropoff.


As a news editor, I can understand the desire to get a scoop about Tesla's mysterious Gigafactory by pushing boundaries... but this is very much beyond the pale. Two Reno Gazette Journal staffers are facing charges after they not only trespassed at the battery plant, but attacked the staff that caught them. Reportedly, they ignored requests to stay put and used their Jeep to ram two Tesla employees that responded to the incident. While only the driver has been charged with assault, it's safe to say that both of the journos knew what they were doing.

A Stanford Professor's Quest to Fix Driverless Cars' Major Flaw

Rather than working out the problem purely theoretically, Stanford professor Chris Gerdes (pictured above) is actually putting the rubber to the road to conduct real-world experiments in ethics in autonomous vehicles. In a fascinating read posted by Automotive News, Gerdes discusses the fascinating issues that his research will explore.

Facebook's On This Day tool is a nice feature when it recalls good times that may have slipped your mind. It has a tendency to bring up events and people that you might prefer to forget, though, and the social network added preferences to curtail the sadness. On This Day now has controls that'll let you filter out specific people and dates so the feature doesn't remind you of those bits of nostalgia you'd rather not revisit. Facebook has come under fire for toying with our emotions and digging up the past before, and there's already been some criticism of On This Day since it launched in March. By adding preferences, Zuckerberg & Co. are offering a way to keep those bad memories at bay. It's a nice touch, since you never know exactly when the memory machine will pop up in your News Feed. If you've noticed On This Day posts there, the new controls should be available for you to tweak.

The New York Times Co. Post An 82 Percent Decline In 2nd Quarter Profi

The New York Times is launching a new "digital day pass" program today to help convince folks that still buy the paper at newsstands to instead get their news from its website. The day pass will will grant access to the publication's website and apps for the day to anyone that buys a physical paper. Each paper will include a keyword that the customer will text to the number provided and receive a link that activates their digital access. Of course, if the customer doesn't yet have a account, they'll need to create one. The day's access will be revoked at midnight every night.

Pinterest is quite handy for stowing away project ideas, recipes and more for future reference. Today, the internet repository is making those stored pins even more informative. Location info is now automatically added to pinned links, so you'll have easy access to tips from other users, contact details, directions and more. You'll notice that pins have a thumbnail preview showing the location on a map, and if you tap the image, you'll get recommendations from other users. Pinterest will also show you other pins that reference that spot, too. From there, calling for reservations or getting directions via Google Maps or Apple Maps are just a click away as well. You can browse nearby spots on the map too, in case you're wondering what other folks have found in the area. The new location pins are rolling out today, so you should be seeing them in your feed and on your boards soon enough.

Uber's Partner app for drivers

You might care the most about Uber's app for customers, but the drivers' app matters a lot, too -- after all, you won't get a ride if cars aren't waiting for your request. Appropriately, Uber has revamped the driver app to make it far more informative and give workers more reasons to offer you a lift. The software provides a real-time status feed with notes, tips and (most importantly) extra chances at making money. It also has an always-available activity map that shows drivers where they're most likely to get customers, even when surge pricing isn't involved. Earnings and ratings are easier to understand, too. You may never catch more than a fleeting glimpse of this app, but it could make all the difference if you get a timelier trip home from a driver eager to make a buck.

Facebook has been pushing video pretty hard lately and today is sharing its plans on making sure users have even more ways to watch tiny movies of their friends and from pages they follow. The most compelling of these experiments is a dedicated video tab that shows all the videos shared by folks and entities someone follows. It's bit like a cross between Instagram and YouTube within the social networking company's main app. This new feature will be tested on a small group of users to see how they respond to having almost instant access to videos without having to wade through political postings by family members and their friend's baby bump photos.

When Gun Media's Wes Keltner and Ronnie Hobbs announced Summer Camp, a slasher-inspired horror game set in a creepy campground, it was already more than an homage to Friday the 13th. The developers were open about their love of ghostly, hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees and they had even recruited Friday the 13th veterans to work on the game. This included actor, director and special-effects creator Tom Savini, the man behind the mask in Friday the 13th parts 7-10 Kane Hodder, and the film's original composer Harry Manfredini.

"Basically, we were a Friday the 13th video game; we just didn't have the license," Hobbs said. Five months after the announcement of Summer Camp, Friday the 13th creator and director Sean S. Cunningham reached out to the team with his blessing -- and, after a few meetings, the license to the Jason Voorhees franchise.

A Starbucks Corp. Location Ahead Of Earnings Figures

Starbucks is no stranger to delivery, thanks to a hand from Postmates. However, the bean-slinging company is taking matters into its own hands with a new delivery option. The "Green Apron" service is in the testing phase inside the Empire State Building in New York City. The idea here is that Starbucks has its own setup in the building and can drop off coffee and food orders in 30 minutes or less. Don't expect a full-on retail location where you can sit and sip in, though, as the kitchen is dedicated to delivery orders. On the surface it may seem like overkill to have a dedicated Starbucks for one building, but when you factor in the thousands of caffeine addicts that work there, it makes a lot of sense. There's a dedicated website where orders are placed and the customer is able to specify a meeting spot (the reception desk, for example) to pick up that PSL. While the service is a trial for now, the company could expand it to other large office buildings or packed urban areas in the future.

[Image credit: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Internet video on Comcast's X1 box

You probably don't think of your cable box as a place to watch online video, but Comcast is determined to provide more reasons to stream from your set-top: it just brought over 30 new internet video sources to the X1. Virtually all of the content comes from big-name TV networks like ABC, BBC America, Discovery and (of course) NBC. Their offerings initially focus on news and sports, but they'll eventually include more extras and "complimentary" productions. This shouldn't be a mere rehash of what's already on your DVR, in other words. No, this won't persuade you to keep cable if you were already thinking of cutting the cord. However, it might serve as a nice complement to the TV you're already watching -- you can stream that behind-the-scenes bonus clip while remaining planted on the couch.

Scientist watching mice in laboratory

DARPA wants to modulate your nerves. The research agency's new Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program is designed to discover the science and the technology that will stimulate the peripheral nervous system to detect and fight diseases. The nerves in this complex system are critical to all sensory and motor signal communications in the body. They constantly maintain and monitor your health status. When these nerves pick up a disruption, like an infection or injury, they trigger an automatic response in the brain or spinal cord that adjusts the workings of an affected organ to activate healing. But sometimes, when a disease compromises this natural flow of signals, the nerves produce a signal of pain or lead to autoimmune disorders, even diabetes. ElectRx is designed to address this glitch in the human system.

Blocks' modular smartwatch

After a long, long development process, Blocks is getting relatively close to releasing its modular smartwatch -- and it wants your help making that final push. The startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its customizable wristwear. Pledge $195 and you'll get the circular core watch, which gives Android devices and iPhones the fundamentals like activity tracking, phone alerts and voice control. However, things get really interesting when you drop $250 or more -- you'll get at least four modules that can add everything from advanced fitness tracking to GPS to mobile payments. The hope is that you'll get just the smartwatch you want, rather than settling for whatever other manufacturers feel like giving you.

Testing the XM25

After years of work, Orbital ATK (born from Orbital Sciences) is close to delivering a clever weapon that could help American soldiers in very tricky situations. As of early 2016, the US Army will start acceptance testing for the XM25, a smart grenade launcher that can defeat enemies behind cover. In normal use, all you have to do is point at an enemy (up to 1,640 feet away) and let the XM25's laser rangefinder decide when your grenade explodes. If a target is hiding, however, you can dial in extra distance (up to 2,300 feet away) and explode the grenade in mid-air. Troops theoretically don't have to expose themselves to line up a shot -- they just pick a close-enough point and pull the trigger.

Just in time for new 4K and 5K iMacs, Apple released a major update of iMovie for OS X that adds 4K video editing, along with a slew of other changes. The iOS version of iMovie got 4K support last month to coincide with the debut of the iPhone 6s. Now that both versions of the movie editing suite support higher res video, you'll also be able to continue edits on your Mac that you've started with your iPhone or iPad. The updates won't bring professionals to iMovie anytime soon, but it could encourage regular consumers to explore the wonders of editing (so your family isn't stuck viewing your 30-minute home movie clips). Additionally, the new iMovie also supports 1080p at 60 frames per second for smoother footage, which is ideal for shooting sports and other action-heavy clips.

You should always err on the side of caution when drinking, but if you want an accurate estimate of your blood alcohol content (BAC), BACtrack's line of personal breathalyzers are the way to go. The ultra-portable BACtrack Vio Smartphone Breathalyzer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, while the free BACtrack app helps you easily estimate your BAC and get a sense of when it will return to zero. Meanwhile, a separate product, the BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer, offers the same functionality with even more accuracy. For a limited time, Engadget readers can grab the BACtrack Vio for 20 percent off ($39.99 plus free shipping), and save over 60 percent on the BACtrack Mobile ($79 with free shipping).That's the lowest price on the web for either product.