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The Morning After: Volkswagen's 'Voltswagen' rebrand can't be real, can it?

Mat Smith, Richard Lawler and Engadget
·5-min read

Plenty of Tesla owners (and people who hope to own Teslas one day) love their electric cars. But do they love them enough to pay for the car twice? CNBC points out a trend where multiple recent buyers who paid for their cars with direct debit payments say their bank accounts were charged twice. That’s annoying when it happens with a movie ticket or a pair of shoes, but can be backbreaking if it’s a $53,000 SUV.

To make matters worse, while Tesla’s zero-contact deliveries and remote service stations can make it convenient to get a car, it’s apparently not so easy to contact someone who can work out a way to reverse the charges. These customers are still waiting to get the situation worked out, but at least one of them says he still loves Tesla, so that Model Y must be an amazing vehicle.

— Richard Lawler

Biden administration targets 30 gigawatts of offshore wind turbines by 2030

The federal government will support developers by fast-tracking permits.

The Morning After
The Morning After

The White House has announced it would designate the New York Bight, an area of shallow water off the coast of Long Island, as a new priority zone for offshore wind projects. The plan also lays out a target of building 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects nationwide by 2030. To help reach that goal, alongside speeding up the permit process, the Biden administration is investing $230 million towards any ports that would support those projects. It will also put up $3 billion in funding through the Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Continue reading.

Is Volkswagen really going to rename its US business ‘Voltswagen’

This close to April 1st, we can’t be sure about anything.

On Monday, the automaker prematurely published an incomplete press release to its website that it planned to share on April 29th. VW quickly took down the announcement, but not before CNBC managed to get a good look at it. A rebranding will reportedly see Volkswagen EVs feature a badge that bears the new Voltswagen branding and a lighter-blue VW logo. Any gas-powered cars the company sells moving forward will feature only the classic VW emblem in the automaker's signature dark blue. Continue reading.

Misusing Ford’s 2021 F-150 pickup generator

Why shouldn’t you play Mario anywhere you want?

The Morning After
The Morning After

We took the 2021 F-150 Platinum trim level to the middle of a field to see just what we could accomplish with the pickup’s new built-in Power Pro generator. Relaxing in the comfortable, luxurious cab with our laptop was a breeze, and we also ventured outside to see just how many things we could plug in and use in an area more commonly associated with cows and sheep than gamers and cooks. Continue reading.

Cyberpunk 2077’s massive 1.2 patch is finally here

A Stadia update is coming later this week.

Cyberpunk 2077’s 1.2 patch is now available to download on PC and consoles and includes various performance improvements that should make the biggest difference on lower-end PCs and previous generation consoles. Oh, and you’ll now be able to buy all-important cat food at stores across Night City. Continue reading.

A Google AI made a dessert with Marmite

In a possibly misguided bid to beat a ‘GBBO’ champion.

The Morning After
The Morning After

Google Cloud AI is taking on a Great British Bake Off winner in a dessert face-off. Sara Robinson, an amateur baker and Google Cloud developer advocate, built a machine learning model that examined hundreds of baking recipes (including ones for traybakes, cookies and scones) to help her come up with a new one.

The result included a Marmite-infused buttercream frosting, after Google Trends identified that "Is Marmite sweet or savory" was a top search related to "sweet and salty." Peter Sawkins, the 2020 Great British Bake Off champion, created his own Maltesers cake, using soy sauce. I am sure hope they taste better than they sound. Continue reading.

Niantic Labs boss teases augmented reality glasses

Augmented reality headsets could lead to hands-free 'Pokémon Go' and much more.

The Morning After
The Morning After

Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke has been talking up the potential of augmented reality via high-tech glasses since at least 2017, and his company is getting closer to making that a reality. Hanke has tweeted an intriguing teaser image that looks like a close view of AR glasses, complete with lenses and a small speaker. The company that brought us Pokemon Go is keeping busy. Alongside its AR push, there’s also a Pikmin game in development. Continue reading.

Xiaomi's Mi 11 Ultra has a tiny selfie screen on the back

And a new camera sensor from Samsung.

The Morning After
The Morning After

Xiaomi is now back with a beefed up model of its latest flagship phone. The new Mi 11 Ultra is the first smartphone to use Samsung's more powerful ISOCELL GN2 sensor for its main camera, and to get the most out of it, the device packs a small screen next to the rear cameras for higher-quality selfies. The 1.1-inch AMOLED screen (126 x 294) serves as a mirror for taking better selfies and doubles as a notification screen or an always-on display.

There are flagship features elsewhere, including a 6.81-inch screen with 120Hz refresh rate. In addition to the Snapdragon 888 processor, there's up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage, along with a denser 5,000mAh silicon oxide anode battery and 67W fast charging — both wired and wireless. The phone is coming to China and Europe, with prices starting from €1,199, which works out at roughly $1,400. Continue reading.

A Jony Ive-designed Leica camera prototype is going up for auction

Bidding starts at $118,000.

The Morning After
The Morning After

A one-off Leica M camera designed by Sir Jony Ive, in collaboration with his friend (and fellow designer) Marc Newson, fetched $1.8 million at auction in 2013. Now, a rare prototype of the device is going under the hammer in June. Bidding for the camera starts at €100,000 ($118,000), and it's estimated to command between €200,000 and €250,000 ($235,000 to $295,000). Practically a bargain compared to the final product. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

Disney+ will start shooting 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' in April

Boston Dynamic's new 'Stretch' robot is designed for boxes, not backflips

Kia officially debuts its EV6 AWD electric crossover

T-Mobile is the first US carrier to make Google Messages its default SMS app

T-Mobile is killing its own TV streaming service in favor of YouTube TV

OtterBox's new accessories are aimed at kids and their iPads

What's on TV this week: 'Godzilla vs. Kong'

Asics Metaspeed shoes are optimized for different types of marathon runners

Apple's repair store verification program is rolling out worldwide

Sony will close the PS3, PS Vita and PSP digital stores this summer

Engadget Deals: Apple's 512GB Mac Mini M1 falls to $800 at Amazon

SolarWinds hack reportedly accessed emails for key DHS officials

Engadget Deals: Apple's MacBook Air M1 returns to $950 on Amazon