ShinyShiny snippets: Sims 4 adds surgery scars and chest binders to character choices
The Sims 4 has added a selection of inclusive upgrades including hearing aids, top surgery scars and shapewear in their latest update. One of the best-selling video games of all time, The Sims allows players to recreate the lives of virtual people living in a suburban neighbourhood. It was first released in 2000. The game, which is constantly changing and evolving, now allows players to create both disabled and transgender characters, as well as select new items of clothing including chest binders. Sky News
Batteries, batteries, batteries. The race to attract this industry of the future, and power the electric vehicles that will rule the roads, is as frantic as the rush for AAA cells after an eight-year-old opens their birthday presents. An orgy of subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act is building so-called “gigafactories” across the US, while the UK is agonising over the collapse of its only big battery project. One sign of battery-induced insecurity is the number of start-ups wrapping themselves in the flag, with names such as the failed Britishvolt or American Battery Factory. FT.com
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an S22 Ultra with an extra layer of polish — figuratively speaking. Compared to the outgoing model, it comes with an updated processor, a new 200-megapixel main camera sensor, and a tweak to the form factor. The built-in S Pen is still here, naturally. And thankfully the price hasn’t inflated. In fact, the starting MSRP of $1,199.99 now comes with 256GB of storage — double last year’s base model. It’s a little extra shine on what was already Samsung’s star smartphone. The Verge
Microsoft Teams Premium is now generally available for everyone, bringing personalization, organization and AI-powered convenience to the video conferencing platform, alongside some new ChatGPT features. In a post on the Microsoft 365 blog, the tech giant reiterated many features that it first trailed during its 2022 Ignite event, including advanced Microsoft Teams meeting protections like watermarks and recording restrictions, several upgrades to webinars such as a virtual green room, and several features for the collaboration software’s appointments system, such as SMS reminders. Tech Radar
The firm behind the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT is trialling a subscription service in the US. For $20 (£16) per month, subscribers will get access to the platform even at peak times when it can be hard to log onto, and also “priority access” to new features, chatbot creator OpenAI said. It plans to extend the trial more widely but initially it will only be offered to those on a waiting list. The free version will still be available, the firm said. In a blog post, OpenAI said it hoped the subscription would support free access. BBC
Apple’s second-generation HomePod will start arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday. Ahead of time, the first reviews of the smart speaker have been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.
Priced at $299, the new HomePod features a virtually identical design as the full-size HomePod that Apple discontinued in March 2021, but with two fewer tweeters and microphones. The Siri-powered speaker is also equipped with a four-inch high-excursion woofer, an S7 chip for computational audio, and a U1 chip for handing off music from an iPhone. The speaker supports Matter for smart home accessories and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. Mac Rumors