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Google’s new Tensor SoC is the heart of its next phone By Aug 2, 2021, 12:00pm EDT Google is announcing the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro today, though it might be better to call it a preview or a tease. Rather than releasing all the details on its new Android phones, Google is instead putting the focus on the new system on a chip (SoC) that will be inside the new Pixels. It’s called the Tensor SoC, named after the Tensor Processing Units (TPU) Google uses in its data centers. Tensor is an SoC, not a single processor. And so while it’s fair to call it Google-designed, it’s also still unclear which components are Google-made and which are licensed from others. Two things are definitely coming from Google: a mobile TPU for AI operations and a new Titan M2 chip for security. The rest, including the CPU, GPU, and 5G modem, are all still a mystery. Less mysterious: the phones themselves. I spent about an hour at Google’s Mountain View campus last week looking at the phone hardware and talking with Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh about Tensor. After all that, my main takeaway about the new Pixel 6 phones is simple. Google is actually, finally trying to make a competitive flagship phone. The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro lineup. Image: Google This fall, Google will release two slightly different Pixel phones: the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro. If the final versions are anything like the prototypes I saw last week, they will be the first Pixel phones that don’t feel like they’re sandbagging when it comes to build quality. “We knew we didn’t have what it took to be in the ultra high end [in the past],” Osterloh admits. “And this is the first time where we feel like we really have it.” Both versions of the Pixel were glass sandwiches with fit-and-finish that are finally in the same league as what Samsung, Huawei, and Apple have to offer. “We’ve definitively not been in the flagship tier for the past couple years, this will be different,” says Osterloh. He also admits that “it will certainly be a premium-priced product,” which I take to mean north of $1,000. Google is only sharing a few of the key specs for each phone, leaving the details for later — likely October. (And no, there was no mention of a folding phone nor a watch.) Google also wouldn’t allow us to take photos or video of the devices during our meeting. In any case, here is what we do know: The Pixel 6 Pro will have a 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. That screen is very slightly curved at the edges, blending into shiny, polished aluminum rails on the side. It has three cameras on the back: a new wide-angle main sensor, an ultrawide, and a 4X optical-zoom folded telephoto lens. Google isn’t sharing specs on the camera beyond saying the main wide-angle sensor takes in 150 percent more lig
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An initial assessment from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recommended workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama hold a new election to determine whether to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The recommendation comes from the hearing officer assigned to the case and is only a preliminary ruling, but still hands the union a surprising win in a fight that many in the labor movement had considered lost. In April, workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama voted not to unionize by a margin of more than 2-to-1. But i
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Pearson, the largest publisher of college textbooks in the US, has announced Pearson Plus, a new subscription service for digital textbooks. The Pearson Plus app, available in both mobile and desktop form, will be available on US college campuses this fall and is expected to roll out globally in the future. There are two subscription tiers. Enrolled students can pay $9.99 per month to access one textbook at a time or $14.99 per month for access to the company’s full library (a selection of over 1,500 e-books). The app provides various other study aids as well, including flashcards, annot
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Niantic reverted some of the pandemic-era changes made to Pokémon Go in the US and New Zealand on Sunday, including reducing the distance you need to be from the physical real-world locations of Pokéstops and Gyms to interact with them. The company announced the changes in June and has decided to move forward with its plans, despite backlash over the changes. The distance you’ll need to be from real-world locations is effectively halved as part of the new update, going from a maximum of 80 meters (around 262 feet) to interact with a Pokéstop, to the game’s original 40 meters (around 131 feet), according to Dot Esports. There were multiple reasons for Niantic to double the distance originally, from reducing crowding during a pandemic, to just making it a bit easier to collect items without theoretically having to leave your house. The change didn’t reinvent the game but players viewed increasing the interaction distance as a valuable accessibility improvement that’s now gone. Niantic also changed the effectiveness of Incense and the number of gifts you can receive in-game from your Buddy Pokémon. As part of its changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Niantic made the pokémon-attracting Incense item more effective across the board, but now it’ll only be while you’re moving. Gifts from Buddy Pokémon were similarly boosted to up to five gifts at a time at up to three times per day as part of Niantic’s changes, but now the company says “the frequency of these gifts from Buddy Pokémon will be reduced” after the latest update. Tweaks like these begin to bring Pokémon Go back to its pre-pandemic self, even if Niantic plans to keep some other changes in the process, like an increased inventory size. Remote Raids, the ability to participate in big battles with legendary pokémon without having to be there physically, are also sticking around. However, Niantic does plan to change the $0.99 a pop feature slightly: according to Niantic, “in the future, Trainers joining the Raid remotely will do less damage than Trainers joining in-person.” Collectively, it seems the changes are meant to push players back out into the world and play more in person, which makes sense given Niantic’s bread and butter is collecting location data. The timing is just a bit unfortunate. COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in the US due to the delta v
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Tech earnings this quarter were, to the surprise of no one, high. But amid the record-settling revenues, the looming specter of the global semiconductor shortage was the fly in the ointment. While virtually none of the major tech companies sounded too concerned on their calls, component shortages were called out by Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Tesla, AMD, and Intel as potential problems for either their previous or upcoming quarter. Apple had already warned that part shortages could impact its iPad and Mac businesses at its Q2 earnings to the tune of $3 billion to $4 billion. CFO Luca Maestri said on last week’s Q3 earnings call that it was able to keep those losses mainly limited to iPads and under $3 billion, in what was definitely a win for Apple. But it came at the same time as a warning from CEO Tim Cook that supply constraints could impact the iPhone — the most important and lucrative part of Apple’s product lineup — in the coming quarter, which could be a far more concerning factor for the company. Microsoft, too, called out a decline in Windows OEM revenue (a drop of 3 percent) as being directly caused by supply chain constraints, even as its cloud revenue continued to soar. And of course, while Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S consoles continue to sell every unit Microsoft can make, there’s just simply not enough supply to go around yet. It was a similar story at Samsung, which posted increased revenue and operating profit year over year, carried by massive demand from its semiconductor business (which accounts for over a third of its revenue and more than half its profit). But Samsung was also weighed down by less overall demand and revenue for its mobile phone business, which declined compared to last quarter due to a combination of supply shortages and the seasonal buying cycle. Other companies, like Tesla, have taken more drastic steps to face the shortage: the company had to develop new firmware for whatever chips it could get its hands on, but CEO Elon Musk was blunt about the fact that semiconductors would be a big concern for the company. “The global chip shortage situation remains quite serious,” he said, highlighting difficulties Tesla experienced getting chips that power essential parts of its cars — specifically the airbags and seatbelt modules. And of course, the chipmakers themselves are calling out concerns. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger noted on an earnings call that the shortage could last through 2023 across the industry, noting that he expects that “it will take another one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with demand.” The company also called out “persistent industry-wide component in substrate shortages” — meaning that Intel doesn’t expect to be able to get enough of the raw materials it needs to make chips — despite high demand for its processors. That may lead to “particularly acute” shortages for Intel’s consumer chips in the upcoming third quarter — which would be right when PC sales tend to kick up for back-to-school students. AMD CEO Lisa Su took a more optimistic note, explaining in an interview with Yahoo Finance that
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The White House’s core space policy body will be led by Chirag Parikh, a veteran intelligence official and senior director for Microsoft’s space-based cloud services, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Monday. Harris, chair of the National Space Council, tapped the seasoned national security official to lead the council’s day-to-day activities as the Biden administration sees global competition mount in space. Parikh’s appointment, coming three months after the White House confirmed Harris would chair its space council, gets the ball rolling for the Biden administration’s coordinated priorities in space. Harris aims to put “her own personal stamp on the council” that could include a heightened focus on cybersecurity for space assets and ways to leverage satellites in Biden’s push to fight climate change, senior administration officials said in May. In 2017, the Trump administration revived the space council, which had been disbanded since 1993, four years after it was formed by George H. W. Bush. Parikh will succeed Trump’s space council executive secretary Scott Pace, whose space policy directives sought to craft standards of international behavior in space and retooled an Obama-era space exploration program into a commercial-focused sprint to land humans on the Moon, what’s now called the Artemis program. Parikh served two years as deputy national intelligence officer for science and technology for the US intelligence community, and later led the National Security Council’s space policy wing for six years under the Obama administration, when the National Space Council was defunct. Before his appointment to helm Biden’s space council operations, he was a senior director for Azure Space, Microsoft’s cloud platform that links with satellites in space. Congratulations to Chirag Parikh, who was appointed today as Executive Secretary of the National Space Council by @VP Harris! I look forward to working with you to ensure American leadership and a safe, sustainable future in space.— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) August 2, 2021 Parikh’s appointment was welcomed by space analysts, who say his experience leading an array of space-related bureaucracies makes him a good fit for his new role. The space council bundles a number of cabinet-level officials together, from NASA administrator to the director of national intelligence, for quarterly or biannual meetings to discuss civil and international space issues. “He was almost like an interagency coordinator, which is very similar to the role that he will be playing as the executive secretary of the National Space Council,” said Victoria Samson, space policy analyst and Washington director for the Secure World Foundation. “So he’ll be bringing years of expertise to do a lot of the same sort of things that he’ll be doing in his new job.” In the two months before the Biden administration confirmed Harris would helm the space council, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the White House would even keep it after the Trump administration. The Obama administration crafted its space policy through the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Natio
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Vizio has revamped its WatchFree streaming experience, given it a brand new look, and tacked a “plus” on the end of its service’s title. (Because if a streaming service doesn’t include the symbol, does it even really count?) With the update announced today, the service formerly known as WatchFree is getting new navigation features to improve search and discovery of free content with recommendations that cater to a viewer’s individual interest. Plus, its live programming guide now offers hundreds of free channels across a surprisingly comprehensive number of genres — everything from comedy and sports to a lengthy list of entertainment channels.
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Facebook announced on Monday that all employees will be required to wear masks when offices reopen. The policy goes into effect on August 3rd and will remain in place until further notice. The company confirmed last week that it’s requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all employees returning to work at its US campuses, which it plans to fully reopen by October. “Given the rising numbers of COVID cases, the newest data on COVID variants, and an increasing number of local requirements, we are reinstating our mask requirement in all of Facebook’s US offices, regardless of an employee’s vaccination status,” said a Facebook spokesperson. Facebook’s update happened the same day healt
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Today Microsoft opened availability for Windows 365, the cloud PC setup that lets businesses stream Windows 10 or Windows 11 via a web browser. As described earlier this spring, it’s one way for businesses to support hybrid and remote work, with an instant-on PC experience that can work across different devices. After it was announced, Microsoft revealed one pricing option of $31 per month, per user to access a cloud PC instance with the equivalent of two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Now that it’s available, the complete Windows 365 pricing page reveals more packages, ready for business (300 seats or less), or enterprise-level subscriptions.
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Twitch is experimenting with a new type of ad format for streamers that appears to be much less disruptive than the pre- and mid-roll ads that take over an entire stream. The new ads, called Stream Display Ads, instead show up under or around somebody’s stream but don’t stop you from seeing or hearing what’s going on. You can get an idea of how one style, which is a banner ad, looks in this tweet from Twitch. We are experimenting with a new ad format: Stream Display Ads! These are less disruptive ads that allow viewers to see and hear Creators while being displayed. Creators will receive ad revenue for each SDA shown. This is an optional feature. https://t.co/DzYp6yIT5a pic.tw
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Twitter has introduced third-party login support, letting users create accounts and log in to the social network with their Apple or Google accounts (via 9to5Mac). Currently, there doesn’t appear to be a way to link your Apple or Google account to an existing Twitter account, so third-party login is (at least for the moment) limited to accounts created using the feature. The feature reportedly showed up in the Twitter beta last month, but now it appears to be more widely available. I was able to set up a Twitter account using my Apple account, and the process was like a more streamlined version of the regular signup process — there were no emails or passwords to deal with, and when si
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One of Amazon’s most anticipated originals to date, a yet-unnamed Lord of the Rings original series, will officially debut on Prime Video on Friday, September 2nd, 2022. Along with a premiere date, Amazon Studios released an official first image from the forthcoming series, which will be set in Middle-earth’s Second Age. The series will take place thousands of years before the events chronicled in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and it will follow characters “both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.” The image release is tied to the series’s production wrap after filming in New Zealand. Fans q
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An Ohio man harassed his estranged wife through a shared Napster account, evading a no-contact order by changing the titles of playlists. Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals outlined the case in a July 29th ruling, which was flagged on Twitter by writer and attorney Eric Goldman. It’s an example of how metadata can become a vector for harassment outside major social platforms — echoing long-standing problems on other services like Spotify. According to the court ruling, defendant Jacob Dunn admitted to reaching out to his wife through a Napster account that both of them could access. A court had issued a temporary protection order (TPO) against Dunn in 2018, prohibiting him from contacting his wife through any means. But Dunn violated the order by renaming music playlists — one was changed to “I want us to work. Do you? I’ll do anything,” another to “I love you more than ever ... do you still love me?” Dunn pled no contest to aggravated menacing and violating the order, although he later unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw and appeal his plea. At his sentencing hearing he claimed he hadn’t understood the rules of the TPO, despite explicitly agreeing to them beforehand — “I figured out the hard way, unfortunately,” he said. Court records indicate he was sentenced to probation. Napster — a streaming service previously called Rhapsody, distinct from the defunct file-sharing service — is one of many usually innocuous services that stalkers and harassers can exploit. As Forbes contributor Barry Collins has reported, Spotify users have complained about being followed by stalkers who can view targets’ listening sessions and share playlists with abusive names. They’ve criticized Spotify for dragging its feet on privacy and blocking tools. This case involves a more unusual problem that most anti-harassment measures wouldn’t mitigate, since it involves two people who had agreed to share an account. (It’s not clear whether they agreed to keep sharing it after separating or if Dunn’s wife simply hadn’t considered revoking his access.) It’s a clearer demonstration of how digital entanglements can have unexpected downsides
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Twitter’s verification process is notoriously slapdash, but you’d expect the company not to fall for the exact same fake twice, right? Wrong! In 2012, Twitter verified an account supposedly belonging to illustrious author Cormac McCarthy, which was in reality started by an unpublished novelist. Now, in 2021, it’s done the same thing again, briefly verifying a second McCarthy fake under the handle @CormacMcCrthy. The account has now been un-verified, but a representative for McCarthy’s agent at ICM Partners confirmed to The Verge that it was fake. “I can confirm that this is definitely not a genuine Cormac McCarthy account,” they said. “Twitter is aware of this situation and we hope to have the issue resolved shortly.” Twitter has yet to respond to a request for comment from The Verge. It is certainly hard to believe that the 88-year-old McCarthy — best known for the unrelenting darkness and violence of his many novels, including The Road, Blood Meridian, and No Country for Old Men — would ever tweet anything quite as twee as the following: A tweet from the Cormac McCarthy account when it was verified earlier today. But apparently Twitter HQ w
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On Sunday, a bipartisan group of senators released their over $1 trillion infrastructure package after weeks of negotiations. As written, the bill authorizes over $500 billion in new spending to strengthen roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure like high-speed broadband and electric vehicle adoption. The result is the largest domestic spending bill in more than 10 years, touching on nearly every aspect of the US economy. Last week, negotiators reached a deal to bolster the nation’s broadband networks with an additional $65 billion, but left it unclear exactly how that funding would be spent or how much of it would go toward increasing affordability and adoption. But the text released yesterday contained language to make the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program permanent, renaming it the Affordably Connectivity Fund. The permanent version of the program would offer lower monthly subsidies — $30 rather than the previous $50 — but would also provide $100 for equipment. More than 4 million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program since it was established during the pandemic, according to the FCC. The bipartisan package also includes billions to build half a million electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the country, in an effort to increase EV sales in the US. The bill would also expand government involvement in cryptocurrency, raising $28 billion from a new tax on cryptocurrency brokers. It’s unclear when the bill is expected to receive a vote on the Senate floor, but Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that it could be approved later this week. “Given how bipartisan the bill is and how much work has already been put in to get the details right, I believe the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in a matter of days,” Schumer said on Sunday. The text of the bill could still change as a result of amendments accepted on the floor. Still, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pledged not to bring the bipartisan package to the floor until the Senate votes on a second $3.5 trillion spending package through the reconciliation process, likely to proceed on party lines.
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R2-D2 — Star Wars’ beloved droid — is now officially a Tamagotchi toy, letting you take a pocket-sized, pixelated virtual pet version of the iconic astromech with you wherever you go. The R2-D2 Tamagotchi comes in two colors: a white model that more accurately resembles R2’s chassis, and a more retro translucent blue version that harkens back two decades to when people actually bought Tamagotchis. As for the actual gameplay experience, the R2-D2 version of the digital pet appears to be virtually identical to the same Tamagotchi gameplay loop that has existed for over 20 years. Using a 24 by 30 pixelated LCD display and three physical buttons, you’ll be able to train your R2-D2 pet in 19 different skills, take care of the droid by charging and cleaning it to keep it happy, and play nine different mini-games (including Dejarik and a firefighting game). Technically, the new R2-D2 toy is the first official Tamagotchi to feature the popular droid. But all the way back in 1997, Tiger Electronics released a Giga Pet toy starring R2-D2 (along with two other licensed Star Wars models featuring Yoda and the Rancor). It’s not clear that the new R2-D2 model is any more technologically advanced or materially different than the original Giga Pet version, given that virtual pet technology appears to have advanced at an even slower pace than TI-83 calculators. Given that the virtual pet fad also ended sometime around the turn of the millennium, it’s also not immediately obvious why there is a Tamagotchi R2-D2 being released in 2021, nor why Tamagotchi and Disney felt the need to spend nearly three months teasing said product. But the new Tamagotchi R2-D2 is, well, an actual Tamagotchi this time around, complete with the familiar egg-shaped case. It’ll also presumably be more affordable than the Giga Pets version, which can cost $35 to $50 on eBay. Tamagotchi has yet to announce a price for the pocket astromech pet, but the company currently sells branded Tamagotchi toys for other franchises for around $25, so it’s likely that the Star Wars model will land somewhere in that price ran
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Twitter is yeeting Fleets, its Stories-like ephemeral posts, on August 3rd, meaning that depending on when you read this, you may have mere hours to unleash that fleet you’ve been thinking about for months unto the world. And I ask — no, beg: please, post the fleets. I need some entertainment to kick off my month. Look, I know that there are already a lot of different places where you can share expiring posts. Snapchat. Instagram. Facebook. Even LinkedIn. And that huge number of choices is probably part of why Fleets never really took off. Why share expiring posts on Twitter when many other apps have offered better tools to do so for years? Even on my iPhone 12 Mini, my Fleets bar was rarely filled up. But let’s change that just for one day to send Fleets out in a blaze of glory
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8BitDo has a new pair of officially licensed media remotes for the Xbox Series X, Series S, and the Xbox One, which offer a more suitable controller for streaming services or the consoles’ built-in 4K Blu-ray players. There are two versions available: a slightly larger $24.99 black model which includes a full numpad and a compact $19.99 white version. Both are available to preorder on Amazon today, with shipping expected September 15th. We’ve generally liked 8BitDo’s controllers in the past. Its Pro 2 controller gives Nintendo’s own Switch Pro controller a run for its money in terms of functionality and is more affordable to boot, while its wireless Arcade Stick is a great way to play fighting games on Switch and PC.
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This story is part of a group of stories called Only the best deals on Verge-approved gadgets get the Verge Deals stamp of approval, so if you're looking for a deal on your next gadget or gift from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more, this is the place to be. Govee’s Immersion TV LED backlights can elevate your TV watching experience by syncing its lights to what’s on your 55-inch or 65-inch screen. The effect makes it look like the colors bleed through the bezels of your TV, out onto your walls. It’s not the only product that can do this, but it’s far less expensive than most at $80. For a limited time, Govee is knocking $5 off that price to sweeten the deal a little more. You can get this product for $75 if you check the $5 “extra savings coupon” listed underneath the price on the product page. Read our review. Govee Immersion TV LED backlights If you want a mor
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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Libertarians built a Bitcoin economy in a small New Hampshire town — then feds tore it down By Aug 2, 2021, 9:20am EDT Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge The sky was still dark when the agents arrived at Leverett St. in Keene, New Hampshire, a leafy block of kit houses at the quiet edges of the small college town. They settled on a house at the corner, surrounding it with two armored BearCat G3s and a fleet of unmarked SUVs. Both BearCats had gunners stationed in a hatch on the roof, clad in camo fatigues. The only light came from the blue-and-red sirens, strobing off houses in every direction. Inside, Ian Freeman was asleep with his girlfriend and their small dog Coconut. He woke to the sound of exploding glass. A ramming pole, tethered to the front of one of the BearCats, had plowed through a first floor window, tearing off the frame as it backed up. Freeman threw on a bathrobe and stumbled downstairs, still shaking off sleep. There was shattered glass everywhere. His first thought was that some stranger had thrown a brick. But then he heard a whirring sound, a small hovering drone that police had deployed to explore the house. He looked outside and saw blinding lights. Coming into focus beside the lights, m
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The co-hosts of The Nod are back, and this time, they’ve separated from Gimlet Media and Spotify and are instead taking their work to SiriusXM’s Stitcher. Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings tell The Verge today that they’re relaunching their Black culture show For Colored Nerds this fall, which they created, hosted, and produced prior to working at Gimlet. The podcast will be available widely and isn’t exclusive to one platform. Stitcher will produce the show along with them, and SXM Media will exclusively sell ads for it. The co-hosts last published a For Colored Nerds episode in 2017, but the same feed will be revived for the comeback. Notably, Eddings and Luse retain total control over their show — they own the audio masters, the feed, and rights to derivative works — and they’ve landed on a revenue sharing agreement with Sirius. (The specifics of the deal, like how much Stitcher paid them to come over and the percentage of ad revenue they’ll receive, weren’t disclosed.) “I can’t tell you how great it feels to be able to have the type of flexibility, and independence, and true support, that we have right now,” Luse says in a chat with The Verge. “The industry is no longer in its infancy; the industry’s maturing, and so I think people’s desires for what they’re looking for out of ownership deals and things like that are changing.” The ownership part of the deal was especially critical for Luse and Eddings, who spoke out in June 2020 about
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Google is piloting a more affordable premium subscription tier for YouTube that offers ad-free viewing without YouTube Premium’s other features like offline downloads or background playback. The new “Premium Lite” plan was spotted by a user on ResetEra, and YouTube subsequently confirmed the test offering in a statement given to The Verge. Premium Lite is currently being tested in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. “In Nordics and Benelux (except for Iceland), we’re testing a new offering to give users even more choice: Premium Lite costs
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Super Nintendo World, the Super Mario-themed area of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, finally opened back in March after multiple delays, and Nintendo may already be working on expanding the park. As noted by VGC, social media posts from recent visitors to USJ have shown cranes, scaffolding, and a jungle-themed backdrop around Super Nintendo World, suggesting work is underway on the rumored Donkey Kong area. Neither Nintendo nor Universal have ever announced the Donkey Kong plans, but they’ve been rumored for many years. Leaked early concept imagery for Super Nintendo World included plan
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If you still have a device running Android 2.3.7 (the final version of Gingerbread) or older, Google won’t let you sign in to your Google account on that device starting September 27th, according to a support document (via Liliputing). “As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our users safe, Google will no longer allow sign-in on Android devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021,” the company says. “If you sign into your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, an
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Square plans to acquire Australian company Afterpay, which offers a “buy now, pay later” service that lets you pay for purchases in installments interest-free, for $29 billion in stock, the two companies announced Sunday. It’s the latest big move for Square, which has also announced a Bitcoin business unit and that it bought a majority stake in the Tidal streaming service this year. “Buy now, pay later” services like those offered by Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna have become increasingly prevalent across the web. And Square may not be the only payments giant jumping into the ring, as Apple is reportedly working on a similar service of its own that’s internally called “Apple Pay Later.” Afterpay already serves more than 16 million customers and nearly 100,000 merchants ac
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We’re a little over a week away from Samsung’s next Unpacked event, but new photos from 91mobiles may have revealed our first in-person look at two things we could see at the show: the rumored Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and the new smartwatch OS from Samsung and Google. The two photos from 91moblies show off black and silver watches with rounded bezels, matching a design seen in leaked renders from Android Headlines and detailed GIFs posted by noted leaker Evan Blass in July. Perhaps more significantly, the photos show the new smartwatch OS (currently referred to as Wear) on actual devices for the first time. But disappointingly, there isn’t much to see — just an initial setup screen and a screen asking the user to set the time. Google and Samsung announced they would be essentially
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Last week, Epic Games teased that a “record-breaking superstar” would be performing in Fortnite’s upcoming Rift Tour concert series, and now we know that the mystery performer is none other than Ariana Grande. The five-show concert series kicks off August 6th at 6PM ET, and shows will run through August 8th. (You can find the full schedule here.) Epic recommends being ready in-game 60 minutes before any of the performances so that you can jump into the Rift Tour playlist when it goes live 30 minutes ahead of showtime. Fortnite events have filled up in the past — I personally missed Fortnite’s “The Device” event in-game because I signed on too late — so I’d recommend showing up early to the Rift Tour shows just in case. As for what you can expect from the shows? “Bui
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Disney’s Jungle Cruise debuted in theaters and as a Disney Plus Premier Access title this weekend, and early revenue totals from the entertainment giant show that streaming accounted for a third of the film’s revenues, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sunday’s Jungle Cruise numbers mark the second time Disney has released figures for a movie offered as part of the Premier Access program, which lets Disney Plus subscribers pay $30 to stream certain films the same day they hit theaters. Jungle Cruise’s $30 million is half of the $60 million Black Widow earned on Disney Plus over the same period following its early July debut, but Jungle Cruise’s Disney Plus revenue represented a bigger slice of the total revenue pie than streaming did for Black Widow’s: Jungle Cruise’s
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Illustration by Ari Liloan for The Verge To combat online polarization, Polemix aims to make young people ‘listen to the outside’ By Aug 1, 2021, 9:00am EDT At a glance, the video looks like a TikTok. But toward the bottom, where a TikTok’s caption would be, are two large buttons. One reads “Respect But Disagree.” The other reads “Convinced By You.” Across the top is a question, written
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