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November 28, 2017

The Morning After: Tuesday, November 28th 2017

by John_A

Tuesday is here, and as you await delivery on any Cyber Monday splurges, we’ve got a substitute phone for app detox and an otherworldly combination of lightning and a volcano. Airbnb is also accused of involvement with money laundering.

It doesn’t seem like Epic knew it was trying to sue a 14-year-old.
Alleged ‘Fortnite’ hacker’s mom fights anti-cheating lawsuit


Don’t mess with mom. Epic Games is suing 14-year-old Caleb Rogers for allegedly modding the game and causing the developer to lose profits from his activity in Fortnite’s free-to-play Battle Royale mode. Rogers’ mother filed a letter with North Carolina’s US District Court saying that Epic “has no capability of proving any form of modification” because her son merely installed cheats he downloaded from Addicted Cheats and didn’t alter the game’s source code himself.

Swipe, pinch and scroll your way to a smartphone-free future.
Kick your smartphone habit with the Substitute Phone


Cigarettes are hard to kick not just because of the nicotine but because they give you something to do with your hands. The Substitute Phone from Vienna-based designer Klemens Schillinger works on the same principle, if you think of content as the drug and your phone’s touchscreen as the tactile addiction. The five models look and feel like phones, but instead of a screen, there are stone beads embedded in slots at various angles. You can just grab it and swipe, pinch and scroll, satisfying that physical need without the nicotine/content.

The Big Picture: Catching lightning in a volcanic bottle


Lightning and volcanoes, together at last.

It must be coming soon, surely?
‘Black Mirror’ trailers preview episodes, leave out release date


Netflix continues to drive internet fans of Black Mirror crazy by releasing buzzy new trailers, while still not saying when we can actually watch the damn thing. The first one is for Arkangel, an episode directed by Oscar-winner Jodie Foster, showing the hazards of trying too hard to protect your precious snowflakes.

One more thing to watch out for.
Airbnb is reportedly being used to launder money

According to a Daily Beast report, Russian scammers are leveraging Airbnb to launder dirty cash from stolen credit cards with the help of corrupt hosts. After creating or purchasing the Airbnb accounts, the scammers use them to request bookings from colluding hosts, who then send back a cut of the profits despite no one staying at the property. Sneaky

It called record Black Friday sales ‘a testament to the free and open internet.’
Over 200 companies including Twitter and Reddit warn against undoing net neutrality


FCC chairman Ajit Pai seems determined to go ahead with his plan of removing net neutrality protections, but many businesses that depend on internet connections are speaking out against the move. Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Airbnb were among hundreds of firms that signed a letter which said “This would put small- and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from even getting off the ground.”

Sync your scribbles wirelessly.
Moleskine’s smart notebook will work with Microsoft Office


Now there’s a Windows 10 app for Moleskine’s Smart Writing System, a quill with a tiny camera that tracks your scribbles on specially marked paper. It sends a digital version to the PC via Bluetooth, where the app converts your charts, ramblings and doodles into a Word document. Assuming you have a Surface, adding on the pen will cost $100.

But wait, there’s more…

  • What’s on TV: ‘Vikings,’ ‘Easy’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
  • Bungie’s free trial for ‘Destiny 2’ opens today
  • New in our buyer’s guide: Apple, Google and a little Sonos
  • The best audio gear to give as gifts

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

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