The at-home molecular COVID-19 testing company Detect is partnering with healthcare provider Carbon Health to give customers who test positive easy access to antiviral treatments, the companies announced today. The “Test to Treat at Home” program runs directly through the Detect app, which connects people who test positive for COVID-19 with Carbon Health. Then, they can set up appointments for virtual or in-person visits, depending on their location. At that appointment, a provider can prescribe an antiviral like Paxlovid, and patients can pick the drug up the same day — a timesaver for a drug that has to be taken within five days of symptoms starting. The program is modeled off the Biden administration’s Test to Treat program, which lets people get COVID-19 tests and antiviral drugs at federally qualified health centers, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities around the country. But, unlike the federal program, which is free, the Detect and Carbon Health partnership comes at a cost — which could keep it from being widely accessible. A Detect hub and a single test cost $85, and each subsequent test is an additional $49. Carbon Health visits are covered by many insurance companies, but, for the uninsured, virtual visits can run as high as $69 and in-person visits as high as $195. Still, the model could be a way to connect more people with antivirals. Even though supplies of drugs like Paxlovid are up in the United States, they’re still not being as widely used as they could be. Some people who could qualify for the drug based on risk factors are still struggling to access prescriptions, and the increased use of at-home tests means that people are testing positive without contact with a health provider. “The home tests are here, the antiviral supply is here,” said Hugo Barra, the chief executive officer of Detect, told The New York Times. “Now we just have to connect the dots.” Creating more efficient systems to encourage testing and connect people with available care are important tools to lower the health burden of the pandemic, which is still ongoing. COVID-19 cases are climbing in the US as contagious and immune-evading versions
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Today’s deals kick off with some great prices on Logitech gaming and streaming gear from Amazon’s deal of the day, and just like monkey see, monkey do, Best Buy is following suit and matching many of those prices. The selection of discounted Logitech products ranges from mice and headsets to steering wheels and a webcam. There’s even a Blue Yeti USB microphone kit with a Compass desk mount for $143.99 (about $46 off compared to buying them separately) that’s ideal for podcasting and streaming — and because Logitech actually owns Blue. A lot of these deals are great, but let’s dive deeper into some of our favorites. One of our overall top choices for gaming headsets is the Logitech G435 Lightspeed wireless. It currently sits number one in our ranks for the best multiplatform wireless gaming headset in our buying guide, and for good reason — it’s light and comfy, it supports PlayStation consoles as well as the Nintendo Switch and PCs, it packs Bluetooth connectivity fo
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If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is designed to be the one headset to rule them all. It’s trying to simultaneously replace the one you jack into your console, the workhorse headset for your PC, and the fancy Bluetooth cans you carry on your commute. That’s how SteelSeries justifies its $349.99 price tag, which makes it one of the pricier wireless gaming headsets ever made. That, and the fact it’s packed with tech. You can listen to three things simultaneously with its screen-and-dial-equipped 2.4GHz wireless base station plus Bluetooth. It has four extra microphones to power its active noise cancellation or its hear-through transparency mode. You get two swappable batteries that can each last a full 24-hour day of nonstop audio, while the other sits in the base station to charge. That base station lets you switch between two USB-C audio devices while simultaneously offering 3.5mm line-in and line-out for a pair of speakers as well. You can even plug a 3.5mm cable directly between the headphones and a DAC for higher-quality audio. Most importantly, it’s the best-sounding wireless gaming headset we’ve used — and the first good enough that we might consider buying it instead of pricey Bluetooth headphones, too. The Nova Pro Wireless and its wired $249.99 Nova Pro counterpart are the rare no-devices-left-behind headsets that help you get even more enjoyment out of PC gaming and console use. There are some weird design decisions, some flaws, and even a few bugs, but it’s tough to ignore that these products bend over backward to neatly integrate themselves into your gaming repertoire. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge The ultimate wireless gaming headset — maybe By Sean Hollister “It’s a nearly perfect gadget, but a couple of times a week, that ‘nearly’ part makes me want to scream.” That’s me, last August, writing about the predecessor to the headset we’re reviewing here. For the past two years, the $330 SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless has been my daily driver, and it’s packed with many of the same features as the new Nova Pro — like the base station, the swappable batteries, the ability to mix multiple audio sources, and the ability to double as a Bluetooth headset on the go. And for the most part, the new Nova blows it out of the water. It sounds so much better, with the pumping bass that the original infamously lacked and audio that just seems more… present. There’s depth where the original feels thinner and flatter by comparison (and that’s with the Nova’s equalizer set completely flat, to boot). It made me want to re-listen to an entire album to hear the extra definition instead of just a song or two. And of course that bass punch is important for games and movies as well. The mic retracts all the way into the frame. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge While the mic doesn’t seem to have been improved, that’s absolutely not a knock — it’s one of the clearer, richer mics we’ve tried. As long as it’s extended, anyhow: the richness goes away when fully retracted, sounding more like a Polycom in a drafty conference room, which wasn’t a thing with the original. The entire design’s been somewhat refined with that completely vanishing mic, and SteelSeries has ditched its trademark Arctis ski-goggle-style headband for a four-position elastic strap and retracting arms that finally let you adjust the height up and down for taller heads. The new leatherette ear cushions are far more plush than the old fabric earcups, too, though I do wonder if they’ll peel as they age. The new base station also seems to have the same excellent wireless range as its predecessor — chatting with my Discord gaming group while down the hall, through two walls, to the kitchen to get a snack. That’s a bar many wireless gaming headsets I’ve tried don’t manage to clear. I’m also happy the base station ditches the optical jacks I never used for USB-C inputs, with an easy toggle to switch between them. You also no longer need a proprietary cable to get analog 3.5mm audio directly to the headset. A standard 3-pole TRS cable works fine, even though SteelSeries includes a 5- to 4-pole cable as well. Plugging one in turns the Nova Pro Wireless into a totally passive analog headset, with sound that’s a little less grainy than in wireless mode. Here’s the weird part: aside from those softer earcups, I… don’t actually like how the headset feels! It’s not actually any more comfortable than the last-gen Arctis Pro for my fairly large head, and I couldn’t find a single position where it didn’t feel like it was putting pressure on my skull or jaw over the course of the day. Cam says he didn’t experience that but agrees it doesn’t have the effortlessly floaty feel of SteelSeries’ previous Arctis headphones. And I find it bizarre that SteelSeries ditched the wonderfully clicky, tactile, rubber-coated dials of the Arctis Pro Wireless for the smooth, unresponsive ones here, which make my fingers slide right off. The base station still doesn’t feel weighty enough, sometimes skitting across the table when I try to push the button, and the swappable batteries are slightly harder to swap in and out now with one hand — both the headset plate and the base station have smaller indents for your fingernail to grab. But I can’t complain too much about that battery — because, in almost every other way, it’s the most impressive battery system I’ve used on a wireless gaming headset. I measured nearly 28 hours on a single charge at 50 percent volume with ANC and Bluetooth turned off and 23.5 hours with ANC turned on — that’s an around-the-clock charge per battery at the volume I actually use to listen to music. With both batteries together, that’s more life than we’ve ever seen from a wireless gaming headset and far more than the 15.5 hours I got with the original Arctis Pro Wireless in the same test. And if you want even more, SteelSeries will sell you a two-pack of extra batteries for $19.99. What’s more, the headset finally makes it impossible to miss when those batteries are going to die, a big complaint I had with the original. Now, you get a low battery beep every 30 seconds for at least the last 20 minutes of life, and the base station’s screen is better about notifying you, too — not only does the battery indicator blink when it’s low, but you can also now see partial bars worth of battery instead of just full ones. And while you can’t exactly hot-swap the battery if you do let it die (audio cuts out the moment you pull the pack), it does turn itself back on if you plug a fresh pack quickly — no need to press power again. A backup USB-C charge port if you’re on the go. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge You can even technically plug in the headset to charge instead of swapping a pack, but the port placement is weird; it’s underneath the magnetic plate on the outer face of the left earcup, so it’d look like it’s sticking out the side of your head if you game with it that way. The base station’s interface has been changed in other ways, too — there are still too many pages of menus and too little information on the main screen (who needs left- and right-channel audio levels in this day and age?), but I love how much control you get: a full equalizer, loud sidetone so you can hear yourself speaking, adjustable mic volume and gain that you can control from the unit itself or wirelessly with the dial on your headset. Unfortunately, my favorite feature is now locked behind SteelSeries’ GG PC app: the chatmix that lets you have two distinct audio devices on PC and
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After bottomless headlines about podcast licensing deals, I guess getting acquired is cool again. Or maybe Conan is just tired. I’m tired, and I didn’t even spend three decades as the “good king” of late night. On that note, I will be out for the next few days, so send all pitches and thoughts to Jake (nice ones, please!!). SiriusXM acquires Conan O’Brien’s podcast network So much for sticking to mid-tier deals, SiriusXM (though kudos on the misdirection). On Monday, the audio giant announced it has acquired Conan O’Brien’s production company, Team Coco, and locked the comedian down in a five-year talent contract. At a reported $150 million, the transaction is by no means the industry’s largest, but it’s a callback to the kind of M&A that was happening before top podcasters embraced licensing agreements. Team Coco, which was established in 2010 shortly after the end of O’Brien’s ill-fated run on The Tonight Show, has become a podcasting force thanks to the success of its flagship show, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Edison recently ranked the show at number 26. The network has also expanded to include popular series from stars like Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer and Literally! With Rob Lowe, the licensing rights to which now belong to SiriusXM. According to the company, Team Coco brings in 180 million downloads a year. “Conan has built an amazing brand and organization at Team Coco with a proven track record of finding and launching compelling and addictive podcasts,” Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s chief content officer said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to grow the Team Coco brand.” As top podcasters like Joe Rogan and Alex Cooper choose to maintain ownership of their brands and instead license their shows to streamers for eight or nine figure sums, O’Brien is an outlier. His deal is most reminiscent of Spotify’s 2020 acquisition of Bill Simmons’ The Ringer. Like The Ringer, Team Coco is a multi-podcast outfit that is still highly dependent on its main star. Spotify has managed to hold on to Simmons more than two years on, giving him additional responsibilities as the streamer grows its int
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Waze has finally introduced support for Apple Music on iPhones, allowing you to control your music through the navigation app’s built-in audio player. This should make it easier for you to pause, play, and switch between songs while following the directions to your destination. You’ll also get access to Apple Music’s wide selection of playlists directly through Waze, which means you shouldn’t have to open the Apple Music app at all. Apple Music joins a host of other audio streaming services that already connect with Waze. The app first rolled out support for Spotify in 2017 and late
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Google Lens, the search giant’s powerful image recognition software, is becoming slightly less cumbersome to use within the Chrome browser on desktop. Currently, if you want to use Lens on an image on a website, the browser opens a page of results in a new tab. But in the future, the browser will instead show results in a panel to the right of a webpage. Only when you want to find an image’s source will Chrome open a new browser tab. The search giant’s image recognition software has long been available on mobile, where it’s accessible via Google’s apps on iOS or the native camera
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The terrible, unprovoked war in Ukraine has destabilized that country’s economy and banking system, leading both Ukrainian politicians and citizens to more seriously consider cryptocurrency. I’m pretty skeptical of crypto, but I want to come by that skepticism honestly, and I want to understand more about what was happening there, so I’ve invited Michael Chobanian to the show. Michael is president of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine and founder of the Kuna Exchange, which lets people buy cryptocurrency and swap between them. Earlier this year, the Ukrainian government set up wallets on Kuna and other exchanges to accept donations to the war effort in crypto; in April, Bloomberg reported it had received over $60 million in crypto donations. What’s more, earlier this year Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also signed a virtual assets bill into law, which will recognize cryptocurrency as an asset in Ukraine when the war is over. As president of the Blockchain Association, Michael lobbied for this law, which you’ll hear him talk about — especially in the context of how little faith he has in the banking system. He says several times that, even before the war, it couldn’t be trusted and that people were already using a combination of crypto and dollars for large transactions instead of Ukraine’s actual currency, which is called the hryvnia. Throughout the course of this conversation, you’ll hear dollars come up a lot. Michael says the most popular cryptocurrency in Ukraine is Tether, or USDT, a stablecoin that’s backed by the US dollar in what is supposed to be a 1:1 ratio: one dollar per tether coin. Now, there are lots of questions about how stable stablecoins really are — a stablecoin called Terra is currently crashing in value, and there’s a lot of controversy about whether Tether has the financial reserves to back its stablecoin. You’ll hear Michael express his reservations about USDT, but what I came back to several times is my main question about cryptocurrency, which is whether people only care about it because they care about dollars. We went back and forth on that; it’s a good conversation. Okay, Michael Chobanian. Here we go. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. Michael Chobanian is the founder of the Kuna Exchange and the president of the Blockchain
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Microsoft is working on a native Arm64 version of Visual Studio 2022 and a miniature Arm PC. A preview version of an Arm native version of Visual Studio 2022 will be available “in the next few weeks” and is expected to ship fully later this year alongside Arm64 .NET support. While Arm devices like the Surface Pro X have been able to run Visual Studio through x64 emulation, some features haven’t been supported and performance has suffered, too. Developers will certainly be intrigued to hear more about native Arm support for Visual Studio 2022 and VS Code, and Microsoft is creating what it describes as an “Arm-native toolchain”: Full Visual Studio 2022 & VS Code Visual C++ Modern .NET 6 and Java Classic .NET Framework Windows Terminal WSL and WSA for running Linux and Android apps Microsoft is building an Arm-native toolchain. Image: Microsoft Alongside this Arm native push, Microsoft has once again partnered with Qualcomm to create an Arm-powered developer device. Project Volterra uses a Snapdragon processor and a neural processing unit (NPU) to allow developers to build cloud native AI apps. The device itself looks like a Mac Mini-like PC, and it has a stackable design so developers can stack multiple Project Volterra PCs on their desks or inside server racks. Microsoft isn’t revealing the exact specs just yet, but Project Volterra does have three USB ports at the rear, alongside a DisplayPort and Ethernet port. There are also two USB-C ports at the side of the device, and the device is manufactured from recycled ocean plastic. Project Volterra has a stackable design. Image: Microsoft “We want you to build cloud native AI applications,” says Windows and devices chief Panos Panay. “With native Arm64 Visual Studio, .NET support and Project Volterra coming later this year, we are releasing new tools to help you take the first step on this journey.” Microsoft partnered with Qualcomm last year at its Build developer conference to create an Arm-based dev kit for developers to build native Arm64 apps for Windows. Despite this, we’re still waiting to see more Arm-powered Windows devices and apps. Many developers rely on the Arm64 emulation built into Windows to allow consumers and businesses to run their apps, and without a larger install base of Arm devices, that’s unlikely to change. Microsoft is also further opening up its Microsoft Store at Build today. The company has removed the wait list for win32 applications, opening up the store to all app developers. We’ve seen a flurry of desktop apps appear on the Microsoft Store alongside the Windows 11 launch, and the removal of the wait list should mean we see even more appear in the coming months. Update, May 24th 11:50AM ET: Article updated with more details on Microsoft’s Project Volterra device.
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Serial 1, the e-bike company spun out of Harley-Davidson nearly two years ago, unveiled another premium model designed to make you open your wallet in helpless surrender. The Bash/Mtn is the company’s first electric mountain bike, and from the look of it, it can absolutely destroy an off-road trail. A rigid, single-speed eMTB (electric mountain bike), the Bash/Mtn is designed for serious off-roading, while also promising to require less maintenance thanks to its simplified design. But it won’t be cheap, with a suggested retail price of $3,999. “No fussy suspension to tune, no finicky drivetrain to adjust — just two wheels, one gear, and one purpose, to provide the most direct connection between you and the trail,” the company says. The Bash/Mtn design was based on a Serial 1 engineer’s personal build and adapted on the company’s entry-level Mosh/Cty model. This new premium model keeps many of the Mosh/Cty features, including a Gates Carbon Drive belt, Brose S Mag mid-drive motor, TRP hydraulic disc brakes, internally routed cables and wires, and integrated LED lighting. It departs from the Mosh/Cty with the inclusion of grippy Michelin E-Wild knobby tires and a “spine-saving, shock-absorbing” SR Suntour NCX suspension seat post. The Yucca Tan paint with special Gloss Graffiti graphics also differentiate the Bash/Mtn from Serial 1’s other models. And thanks to a new deal with Google, the Serial 1 app will relay all the ride data and other metrics for users to pour over. Mike Calabro urbancamper.com Mike Calabro urbancamper.com Mike Calabro urbancamper.com Mike Calabro urbancamper.com
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It’s all about developers Microsoft’s Build developer conference is happening on Tuesday, May 24th. The keynote is set to begin at 8:15AM PT / 11:15AM ET. The conference, which will again be held virtually, will provide company updates on upcoming releases on Microsoft Office, Windows, and more. Rumors have been sparse so far, so don’t expect any hardware news. Instead, the event will likely feature some updates to Windows and primarily focus on what developer conferences should focus on: software development.
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Microsoft has started testing its new OneNote design refresh. The software maker first teased the visual update last year, revealing that it will unify its OneNote and OneNote for Windows 10 apps i
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Microsoft is planning to support third-party widgets inside Windows 11 later this year. At its annual Build developer conference today, the software giant says it will open up access to Windows 11 widgets to developers as companions to their win32 or PWA apps. Currently, the Windows 11 widgets system is restricted to native widgets created by Microsoft, and the selection is rather limited. Microsoft has built widgets for its Outlook and To Do apps, but the rest are largely web-powered ones that present the weather, entertainment feeds, or news in the dedicated widgets panel for Windows 11. “We’re energized by the customer feedback on Widgets to date, people are enjoying the quick ac
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If you’ve finally given up on the world’s most popular social media network, it’s not too complicated to remove yourself from the service. But before you delete all of those pictures, posts,
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HP’s newest budget laptop, the Pavilion x360 14, will be available this summer for a starting price of $599, the company has announced. The clamshell, higher-end Pavilion Plus 14 — HP’s thinnest ever Pavilion model at 0.65 inches — is another addition to the line, available now for a starting price of $799. The new x360 14 also has optional 5G support via Intel’s 5G Solution 5000. While we don’t know exactly how much the 5G-enabled model will cost, the $599 base price makes it likely that this will be one of the most affordable ways to get 5G on a laptop this year (many other 5G-enabled models cost well over $1,000). The Pavilion x360 14 will also be HP’s first consumer laptop to include a manual camera shutter — another feature uncommon at this price point. While hardware kill switches appear in HP’s consumer lines, a manual shutter covers the lens for extra peace of mind. (These can also be very satisfying to click open and shut.) The Pavilion x360 14 is available in space blue, pale rose gold, and natural silver. Image: HP And here’s the Pavilion Plus 14, which can include up to “NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050 4G discrete graphics.” Image: HP The Pavilion has also been updated to Intel’s latest 12th Gen Intel Core U-series processors. Alongside the Pavilion Plus, the x360 14 will include a 5MP camera with AI-based noise reduction and presence detection technology. This feature, if enabled, allows the laptop to know whether you’re in front of it or not and can do things like automatically lock your PC when you walk away. In the past, the HP Pavilion line has served as one of the most affordable ways to access laptop-based LTE. But our experiences with 4G Pavilions have not been the most impressive in the past — the last Pavilion x360 model with LTE that we reviewed was fairly slow for anything more than basic tasks and, even with the added connectivity, wasn’t a great buy. We’r
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You can’t summarize the webcomic Mr. Boop better than its first panel, which emerged out of what felt like the raging id of the internet on February 28, 2020. “My wife Betty Boop is really hot,” says Alec, the strip’s spectacled, grinning protagonist, a cartoon avatar for actual writer and artist Alec Robbins. His wife, you see, is Betty Boop. She’s really hot. At first blush, Mr. Boop might not seem all that different from the webcomics that largely defined the genre’s boom a decade or so ago: imperfectly drawn panels, constant flirtation with copyright violation, and a horny, endlessly self-indulgent hero based directly on the author. But Robbins isn’t just channeling the tropes of a largely bygone era of fanfiction; he’s weaponizing them, delivering a note-perfect satire of a very specific time on the internet with layers that only reveal themselves as the story unfolds. Over 216 comic strips, several videos, and one alarming free-to-play visual novel, Robbins — a writer and comedian whose credits include stints on I Think You Should Leave and The Eric Andre Show — starts with a goof about a guy who’s married to Betty Boop and steers it into a hilarious, sometimes existentially troubling interrogation of what’s fascinating about fandoms and dumb abo
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Sample images from Google’s new text-to-image AI. Image: Google (collage by The Verge) Imagen what else this thing can do By May 24, 2022, 7:38am EDT There’s a new hot trend in AI: text-to-image generators. Feed these programs any text you like and they’ll generate remarkably accurate pictures that match that description. They can match a range of styles, from oil paintings to CGI renders and even photographs, and — though it sounds cliched — in many ways the only limit is your imagination. To date, the leader in the field has been DALL-E, a program created by commercial AI lab OpenAI (and updated just back in April). Yesterday, though, Google announced its own take on the genre, Imagen, and it just unseated DALL-E in the quality of its output. The best way to understand the amazing capability of these models is to simply look over some of the images they can generate. There’s some generated by Imagen above, and even more below (you can see more examples at Google’s dedicated landing page). In each case, the text at the bottom of the image was the prompt fed into the program, and the picture above, the output. Just to stress: that’s all it takes. You type what you want to see and the program generates it. Pretty fantastic, right? But while these pictures are undeniably impressive in their coherence and accuracy, they should also be taken with a pinch of salt. When research teams like Google Brain release a new AI model they tend to cherry-pick the best results. So, while these pictures all look perfectly polished, they may not represent the average output of the Image system. Often, images generated by text-to-image models look unfinished, smeared, or blurry — problems we’ve seen with pictures generated by OpenAI’s DALL-E program
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Nvidia and Asus are announcing the world’s first 500Hz G-Sync display at Computex 2022 today. While we saw a prototype 500Hz gaming monitor earlier this year, Asus is promising a shipping 24-inch 500Hz TN panel that’s designed for esports titles running at 1080p. Asus has not yet announced pricing or a release date for its new ROG Swift 500Hz monitor, though. The announcement comes just over two years since Nvidia and Asus teamed up to introduce 360Hz gaming monitors for esports at CES 2020. PC gamers have typically purchased 144Hz gaming monitors, and even 240Hz panels still aren’t particularly common. So 500Hz might sound like overkill, but Nvidia claims it will make a difference for competitive gamers who want the best of the best. Nvidia has used the impressive Phantom VEO 640S motion camera to prove its point. This camera comes equipped with 72GB of RAM to allow it to record Valorant gameplay at up to 1,000fps. Nvidia claims this new 500Hz monitor will make target tracking easier thanks to smoother animations, and less ghosting should minimize distractions during games. The real key with any high refresh rate monitor is reduced latency, and Nvidia claims you’ll be able to see players peeking out of cover quicker than someone using a 240Hz or 144Hz monitor. Naturally, to power a 500Hz monitor you’ll also need a powerful gaming PC and GPU. Rumors suggest Nvidia will launch its next-gen RTX 4090 card this summer, which would be an ideal companion for a 500Hz panel. Asus’ ROG Swift 500Hz monitor is 1080p, which means games like CS:GO, Valorant, and Overwatch should be able to hit the frame rates required to really make use of a 500Hz panel with a high-end GPU. Asus’ new 500Hz monitor uses a new esports TN panel. Image: Nvidia The ROG Swift 500Hz also includes Nvidia’s Reflex Analyzer to measure system latency, and a G-Sync esports mode with an adjustable vibrance mode that “allows more light to travel through the LCD crystals,” according to Asus. This panel also uses a new esports TN (E-TN) technology, which Asu
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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, the upcoming video game starring Gollum that was first revealed in 2019, will finally be released on September 1st, developer Daedalic Entertainment announced Tuesday. The game will be available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S, with a Switch version in the works for “later this year,” according to a press release. I was able to see a short preview of the game in a Zoom call last week. If you’re familiar with Gollum’s shadowy nature from the books and movies, you won’t be surprised to hear that you’ll be doing a lot of sneaking around to get to where you need to go. But the video featured quite a bit of environmental traversal as well — Gollum spent a lot of time scaling walls and making great leaps to avoid hazards. Players w
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Microsoft’s yearly developer conference is kicking off Tuesday, May 24th and running through Thursday, May 26th. The conference, historically attended by IT professionals, engineers, and students, moved online in 2020 due to the pandemic and also became an entirely free event. Microsoft is continuing this trend in 2022 and keeping its sessions open to anyone interested in learning the latest on what the company is cooking up. So if you’re into checking out the latest Windows and Edge browser updates, understanding the difference between a product and a platform, and learning from other people that work heavily in Microsoft land, check out the links below! How to watch MS Build 2022 Keynote and Sessions If you want to attend any sessions, then register for free here. The keynote for
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Grocery app Gorillas, which promises to deliver goods in as quickly as 10 minutes, is laying off half of its office staff. In a press release, the company said it was letting go 300 employees from an estimated 600 “global office workforce.” (This workforce also includes roughly 14,400 staff working in warehouse and as delivery drivers.) The company is also planning to tighten its focus on five markets that account for 90 percent of its revenue: the UK, US, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The company also operates in four other European markets — Spain, Denmark, Italy, and Belgium — where it says it is “looking at all possible strategic options for the Gorillas brand.” That might mean pulling out of these markets, but Gorillas tells The Verge nothing has been decided yet. The news suggests trouble for the fast-growing “instant” grocery sector. Over the past few years, a huge number of these services have sprung up around Europe, fueled by venture capital investment and pandemic lock-down orders. These companies all rely on the same basic infrastructure: warehouses filled with groceries scattered throughout urban centers and armies of e-bike and scooter-rid
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Motorola could have not one, but two very interesting smartphones launching in China next month. The company has teased the first in a Weibo post, which promises to be one of the first phones in the world with a 200-megapixel camera. It could be joined by a third-generation foldable Razr, too. Motorola’s general manager Shen Jin recently posted a cryptic teaser for the new foldable on Weibo, which appeared to show a silhouette of a device unfolding. The smartphone with the 200-megapixel camera has reportedly been developed under the codename “Frontier,” and has leaked a couple of times in recent months. In January, WinFuture posted several renders of the device along with a more-or-less complete set of specs. The phone’s all-important main camera will reportedly be using Samsung’s 200-megapixel sensor announced last September, paired with a 50-megapixel ultrawide, a 12-megapixel telephoto, and a 60-megapixel selfie camera. Motorola’s teaser image refers to a 200-megapixel camera. Image: Motorola Other rumored specs include a 6.67-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 4,500mAh battery with support for 125W wired fast-charging or 50W wireless fast-charging. A photograph of the phone was allegedly posted to Weibo in March. Meanwhile, Motorola’s Shen Jin appeared to confirm that the company was developing a third-generation Razr late last year, and images of the device leaked earlier this month. The device still looks like a clamshell-style foldable, but it could have a tweaked design that removes the previous device
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Google Maps’ Street View feature is getting a couple of upgrades to celebrate the service’s 15th anniversary, the search giant announced today. The first is a new feature coming to its iOS and Android apps that’ll display historical Street View imagery on your phone. The second is a new, more portable camera that Google hopes will make it easier for it to capture Street View imagery in the future. Since 2014, it’s been possible to use Street View to see how a place has changed over the years via the desktop version of Google Maps. But now, the service’s iOS and Android apps will have the same ability. You access it by tapping anywhere on the screen while in Street View mode, and then select “see more dates” to access a location’s historical imagery. Google advertises that the feature will show imagery going all the way back to Street View’s launch in 2007 in locations where that’s available. The second announcement Google’s making to coincide with Street View’s anniversary is a new, more portable camera for capturing 360-degree imagery. Currently, the search giant uses dedicated cars and large camera-equipped backpacks (called Trekkers) to photograph the world, but the new camera shrinks down all this functionality into a device weighing a little under 15 pounds (approximately 6.8kg) and, to quote Google’s blog post, “roughly the size of a house cat.” The camera is designed to make it easier for Google to capture Street View imagery around
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Logitech’s latest computer accessories offer a quieter or more tactile way to use your computer, depending on your preferences. The new MX Master 3S is a minor update to the existing MX Master 3 mouse with a quieter mouse click and a more sensitive sensor. Meanwhile, the MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini are a pair of keyboards whose mechanical switches should make them a more tactile (if slightly louder) counterpart to its existing MX Keys devices. The MX Mechanical, MX Mechanical Mini, and MX Master 3S will ship this month for $169.99, $149.99, and $99, respectively. The MX Master 3
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Nvidia has announced its new plan for reducing the energy use of data centers crunching massive amounts of data or training AI models: liquid-cooled graphics cards. The company announced at Computex that it’s introducing a liquid-cooled version of its A100 compute card, and says that it consumes 30 percent less power than the air-cooled version. Nvidia’s also pledging that this isn’t just a one-off, it’s already got more liquid-cooled server cards on its roadmap, and hints at bringing the tech to other applications like in-car systems that need to keep cool in enclosed spaces. Of co
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The first full trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder has arrived, and somehow found a new angle on the journey of Chris Hemsworth’s titular hero. This time around we’re also getting a solid look at Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer “who seeks the extinction of the gods.” There are also more shots of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), playing up some interactions she’ll have with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who, as we saw in the teaser trailer, is wielding Mjolnir, and even a quick flash of some Guardians of the Galaxy friends.
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SpaceX’s Starlink is still scaling up its constellation of internet satellites, and the service is only intended for use at the specific location where the user is registered. But as we noted earlier this month, for an additional $25 per month, it will let users take their dish somewhere else every now and then with the service’s new “portability” feature. For that package with portability, you still need to have at-home service first, and it warns users they’ll be de-prioritized while away from home. But if you’re a vanlifer or RV enthusiast who is willing to buy a dish without having a “home” address with prioritized service, now Starlink for RVs will let you sign up and grab a dish for access right now. There’s no waiting required, although it’s worth mentioning
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Rode is introducing a new version of its portable audio mixer console, the Rodecaster Pro, with upgraded hardware, new preamps, a load of new software features, and a subtly sleeker design. The Rodecaster Pro II is meant to pack the key parts of an audio control room for livestreams, podcasts, and other audio productions in a desktop console for amateurs and professionals alike. At first glance, the Rodecaster Pro II looks like a slightly more compact version of its predecessor, with six physical faders instead of eight, slimming it down from 14 inches wide to 12 inches wide. But the console comes with some much bigger updates on the inside. The console is now powered via USB-C and has the ability to connect to two computers or mobile devices at once for dual operations. There’s also
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Klarna, the Swedish “buy now, pay later” service (BNPL), announced that it’s laying off 10 percent of its global workforce in a prerecorded video message, according to reports from Protocol and TechCrunch. The company currently has about 7,000 employees, and a 10 percent cutback puts the number of affected workers somewhere around 700. BNPL services like Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay allows users to purchase a product for nothing or a small fraction of its full price. Customers can then make incremental payments over a set period of time but will face a typically interest-free fee for any late payments. BNPL businesses soared at the height of the pandemic when many people were strapped for cash and had nothing else better to do than shop online. Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski d
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SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell sent a company-wide email last week responding to a report of allegations of sexual assault against CEO Elon Musk, claiming she doesn’t believe the allegations to be true. The email, first reported by CNBC and reviewed by The Verge, also reiterated that SpaceX has a “ZERO tolerance” policy for harassment. “Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations,” Shotwell wrote in the email. “Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior.” Last week, Business Insider published a report alleging that SpaceX had paid a former company flight
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TikTok has announced a program that lets viewers pay to subscribe to specific live streamers they want to support. Dubbed Live Subscription, it gives fans access to perks like a subscriber-only chat, creator-specific emotes, and badges that differentiate them from non-subscribers (via TechCrunch). It’s launching in beta on May 26th, according to an announcement video posted on the TikTok Live Creator page. That page has also posted videos from several creators announcing that they’re part of the program and announcing the potential benefits to their followers. While custom stickers for livestream chats and the opportunity to take part in subscriber-only chats are likely the biggest draw for viewers, a few creators have noted that they’re also excited about having “predictable mo
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After being delayed for months, Google is finally rolling out its personalized profiles for Google TV “over the next few weeks.” Announced in October, Google TV profiles will make it simpler for multi-watcher households to navigate content by giving people access to individualized recommendations, watchlists, and Google Assistant responses. Google has been expanding Google TV to make it less of a single-storefront experience for household members who prefer different content. Just last year, Google TV launched kids profiles, where parents can pick which apps are available and set watch time limits. Earlier this month, the team began rolling out an ambient mode screensaver with personalized cards that will show things like weather, sports scores, and podcast links.
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Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told employees Monday that the company would significantly slow hiring for the rest of the year after warning investors that its revenue wouldn’t grow as fast as expected. “Like many companies, we continue to face rising inflation and interest rates, supply chain shortages and labor disruptions, platform policy changes, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and more,” Spiegel wrote in a memo to employees obtained by The Verge. He went on to say that Snap expects to report revenue below the low-end of the guidance it gave investors for the current quarter. That news was also disclosed in a filing with the SEC that sent Snap’s stock price cratering to a low it hasn’t seen since mid-2020. Like its larger competitor in social media, Meta, Snap plans to pull back
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A US appeals court says Florida’s ban on much social media moderation likely violates the First Amendment, setting up a legal showdown over social networks’ speech rights. Today, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of an earlier court order blocking Florida’s SB 7072 while a lawsuit proceeds. It directly contradicts a recent ruling over Texas’ similar moderation ban, setting up a split that the Supreme Court could step in to resolve. The Eleventh Circuit ruling focuses on whether Florida’s law — which heavily restricts suspensions, fact-checking, and content removal involving political candidates and media enterprises — plausibly violates the First Amendment. Florida’s defense of the law characterizes web platforms as quasi-governmental public spaces or “
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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. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer in the US. In addition to using the long weekend of this national holiday for travel and taking some well-earned rest and relaxation, it usually kick-starts lots of outdoor activities — like backyard cookouts, road trips to the beach, and camping trips. It’s also another shopping holiday, with discounts on offer for all kinds of home goods and some great tech, gadgets, and gear. There are plenty
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The University of Oregon is doing a study on the effect phones have on mental health, using Google’s Health Studies app. The goal of the study is to see how people are actually using their phones and how that affects their well-being. A post on the company blog written by one of the lead researchers on the project says that the aim of the research will ultimately be able to help companies design better products and even shape policy and education in the future. According to the blog post, researchers are using the app because it can help them get a better picture of how people actually use their phones, as opposed to other studies when people are asked to track and report their own usage of apps — a method that can be less accurate than researchers might like. Researchers hope that
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Our inaugural deals post this week is full of amazing deals, many of which are currently matching their best prices to date. Both the 65-inch and 77-inch models of LG’s C1 OLED are on sale for their lowest prices ever at Amazon, for instance, with the 65-inch panel going for $1,596.99 instead of $2,499.99. Other sizes are available for a discount as well, but you’ll want to direct your attention to either the 65- or 77-inch models for the best value. While we’ve never reviewed the C1, several staff members own the 2021 model and can’t seem to shut up about it — not just because it offers excellent visual fidelity but also because of its list of excellent, gamer-centric features. In addition to 4K resolution and support for Dolby Vision — which allows for a spectacular depth
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The Game Workers Alliance, the union of quality assurance workers at Activision subsidiary studio Raven Software, has won their union vote. The votes were tallied today and the union passed with 19 out of 22 votes with two challenged ballots. The election makes the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) the first union for Activision Blizzard and only the second formal union in US video game industry. The vote is the culmination of months of organizing and a seeming concerted effort of union-busting on behalf of Activision Blizzard. In December, after 12 QA employees were informed they would be laid off in January, QA workers staged a walkout that morphed into a five-week-long strike at the Wisconsin-based Call of Duty support studio. At the end of that strike, the remaining QA workers formed th
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Sony’s best headphones and earbuds come with a wide mix of software features. Aside from helpful tricks like adaptive sound control and EQ customization, a more recent addition has been Speak to Chat. It first debuted with the W-1000XM4 in 2020 and has since come to newer Sony products as well. Since it’s turned off by default, there’s a good chance you haven’t yet tried Speak to Chat. But it’s a very convenient feature that can help you communicate with others without having to fully disconnect from your music. What is Speak to Chat? Speak to Chat is a software feature that’s designed to help you talk to people and have brief interactions without worrying about finding and pressing buttons to activate ambient / transparency sound mode. Instead, you just talk aloud, and your headphones automatically do the rest. Sony uses the microphones on your headphones to detect when you’re speaking. Once your voice is detected, the audio you were listening to immediately pauses and the headphones go into ambient sound / transparency mode. This makes it easy to hear whoever’s talking to you. A few seconds after you stop speaking, your headphones will automatically exit ambient mode and resume playback. Which Sony headphones support Speak to Chat? WH-1000XM5 headphones LinkBuds S earbuds WH-1000XM4 headphones WF-1000XM4 earbuds How do I enable Speak to Chat? To use Speak to Chat, first, you need to turn on the setting in Sony’s Headphones Connect app. It’s available for both Android and iOS. To get started, just open Headphones Connect and select the headphones or earbuds you’re using. Then tap on the Sound tab. Here you’ll see the toggle for Speak
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Instagram now has auto-generated captions, which means it can automatically transcribe any videos you watch on the app. But before you start seeing captions appear in the app, you’ll probably have to enable the feature first, and the same goes if you want to post videos with captions. Before we get started, it’s worth noting that auto-generated captions are available in 17 languages at the time of writing: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Indonesian, and Japanese. Instagram plans on adding support for more languages in the future. Here’s how to turn captions on and off on Instagram for iPhone and Android, whether you just want to watch videos with captions or you’re looking to post a video with subtitles. Turn on / off captions for all videos in your feed Instagram’s auto-generated captions are turned off by default. If you want to turn captions on for every video that appears in your feed, you just need to adjust a single setting. You can repeat these steps to turn captions off. Tap your profile in the bottom right corner of the screen. Select the hamburger menu in the top right of the screen, and then select Settings. Go to Account > Captions, and then toggle the Captions option on. You can toggle the Captions option back again if you wish to turn them off. Choose “Captions” from your account settings. Toggle “Captions” on or off.
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Need to fix your Valve Steam Deck handheld gaming PC? iFixit is selling official parts for practically every piece of the console — and after accidentally putting those components up for sale on Friday, it’s now pushed most of the collection (and a large collection of repair guides) live for everyone. Unfortunately, it looks like you won’t be able to buy some of the most desirable items if you click right now. The motherboard and daughterboards are MIA (if you were hoping to build a FrankenDeck), the fan and screens are out of stock (sorry, upgraders), there aren’t any thumbsticks left, and iFixit only has a literal armful of the Steam Deck’s plastic case halves last we checked. iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens tells The Verge says that won’t be the case forever, though: “We have lots more on order and are playing catch up on the supply chain.” It also doesn’t help that some of the parts sold before they officially went on sale. “We saw higher than expected demand and sold a lot more than we anticipated on Friday,” says Wiens. Here’s the whole list of parts that iFixit is planning to stock in the near term: Steam Deck repair parts at iFixit SKU / Link Name Price SKU / Link Name Price 2600021 Steam Deck Fan / Part Only $24.99 2600022 Steam Deck Fan / Fix Kit $29.99 2600031 Steam Deck (512GB) Screen / Part Only $94.99 2600032 Steam Deck (512GB) Screen / Fix Kit $99.99 2600041 Steam Deck (64GB or 256GB) Screen / Part Only $64.99
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Nike isn’t the only sneaker company thinking about accessible shoe design. Reebok announced it’s partnering with Zappos to launch its first adaptive footwear collection, called Fit to Fit. The collection features two sneakers that are designed for easy entry and exit for people with disabilities. The shoes were designed in collaboration with Zappos Adaptive — the e-commerce site’s vertical that acts as a shopping hub for accessible shoes, clothing, and accessories. The $90 Nanoflex Parafit TR are trainers that feature a mesh upper, side zipper, and heel pull tab. Meanwhile, the $65 Club MEMT Parafit are lifestyle sneakers with an extra 4E wide fit, side zipper, and leather upper. Both shoes feature high-abrasion rubber outsoles for better traction, lace closures, and removable sock liners for orthotics. Reebok also says the shoes are low-cut for better mobility. The idea behind including both the lace closure and zipper is that you can do up the laces once to adjust fit. Then, you can just use the zipper going forward to get in and out of the shoe. The zippers also include pull tabs so they’re easier to use. The shoes come in unisex sizing and can be bought in singles or pairs. The shoes are available on both Reebok and Zappos’ websites in multiple colorways and
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Heatsinks are the default when it comes to keeping components cool on your PC and practically every other electronic device, but researchers may have found a way to chill your components without the use of these slotted hunks of metal. A report from Science Daily (via Tom’s Hardware) highlights a new, sleeker approach to cooling that involves coating the entirety of the device with poly and copper. If you aren’t familiar with heatsinks, they’re typically made of copper or aluminum, two metals that serve as thermal conductors. They often come with several metal fins that pull and spread heat away from the essential components on your device to help prevent them from overheating. The heat then gets pushed out of the system with a nearby fan. A group of researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Berkeley published a study in Nature Electronics that substitutes traditional heat sinks with “a conformal coating of copper” and “an electrical insulating layer of poly” that’s spread over the whole device. The researchers say this method of cooling gives you “very similar performance, or even better performance” when compared to heatsinks. Since it also eliminates the need for a bulky piece of metal, this could save a ton of space inside electronic devices, which researchers claim can increase a device’s power per unit volume by up to 740 percent. “You can stack many more printed circuit boards in the same volume when you are using our coating, compared to if you are using conventional liquid- or air-cooled heat sinks,” the study explains. The researchers are still evaluating the effectiveness of this coating and plan on testing it on power modules and graphics cards. It’s too early to tell whether this kind of technology would be something that PC part makers would precoat their components with or if you’d have to do it yourself. If the coating does serve as a viable alternative to heatsinks, it could drastically change the appearance of electronics in ways that I really can’t even fathom. Maybe the coating could even kill the heatsink altogether. While I would kind of miss the funky
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District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine has sued Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal. The suit alleges that Zuckerberg was “directly responsible” for creating the lax privacy rules that allowed the consulting firm to harvest user data without consent, then failing to promptly inform users and ensure the data was deleted. It follows a failed attempt to name Zuckerberg in a similar suit against Facebook itself. Racine’s fundamental accusations haven’t changed since the earlier filing last year. The suit covers an incident in which University of Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan collected personal information from around 270,000 Facebook users plus data from friends who hadn’t consented to the collection. Kogan passed the information to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, which worked on former President Donald Trump’s campaign, in 2015. The details only became known when the incident leaked in 2018, and Zuckerberg publicly accepted responsibility. Racine alleges that Zuckerberg violated the Consumer Protection Procedures Act by misleading Facebook users about the privacy of their data and failing to disclose a violation of it. “Zuckerberg is not just a figurehead at Facebook; he is personally involved in nearly every major decision the company makes, and his level of influence is no secret,” the complaint says. “Within Facebook, Zuckerberg directly oversaw the product development and engineering work that was exposing consumer data to abuse.” Racine initially sued Meta (then known as Facebook) in 2018, and that case remains ongoing. But a judge said in March that he’d waited too long to add Zuckerberg as a party to that suit — something Racine argued would send a message to other corporate executives. Racine’s office told The Washington Post that the new suit is based on documents that were obtained during the Facebook litigation, bolstering the case against Zuckerberg. “This unprecedented security breach exposed tens of millions of Americans’ personal information, and Mr. Zuckerberg’s policies enabled a multi-year effort to mislead users about the extent of Facebook’s wrongful
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AT&T customers can now play a cloud-streamed version of Control Ultimate Edition in their browser that uses the white-label version of Google’s Stadia technology. Customers on an AT&T postpaid plan can check out the game by visiting this link on a computer or mobile device and entering their phone number and billing zip code to jump in. Control is the second experience AT&T offers using Stadia’s tech, which Google offers under the brand Immersive Stream for Games. The first was a demo of Batman: Arkham Knight, which launched for AT&T subscribers last year, though that works only on a co
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The latest self-driving startup to allow its vehicles to roam the streets without a human minder is Argo AI, the startup backed by Ford and Volkswagen. Last week, the company announced that it is testing its fully driverless vehicles in Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas. Argo employees will ride in the passenger seat of the vehicles to test out the company’s robotaxi service before it opens to the public. The announcement comes after a period of consolidation in the AV industry, leaving only a handful of well-funded companies left to push their vision of robotic cars as a solution to the
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The popular wedding planning website Zola, known for its online gift registries, guest list management, and wedding websites, confirmed Monday that hackers had managed to access the accounts of a number of its users and tried to initiate fraudulent cash transfers. Over the weekend, some Zola users posted on social media that linked bank accounts had been used to purchase gift cards. One tweet flagged by a Reddit user claimed to show cracked Zola accounts being resold on the black market and used to buy gift vouchers. Zola’s director of communications, Emily Forrest, told The Verge that the unauthorized account access took place through a “credential stuffing” attack, where hackers test out email and password combinations stolen from other breaches across a range of websites to target people using the same password on multiple sites. “We understand the disruption and stress that this caused some of our couples, but we are happy to report that all attempted fraudulent cash fund transfer attempts were blocked,” Forrest said. “Credit cards and bank info were never exposed and continue to be protected.” Forrest also said that the company is aware of fraudulent gift card orders and is working to correct them. She said that there was no direct hack of Zola’s infrastructure and that fewer than 0.1 percent of couples using Zola were affected. On Sunday, Zola sent out a mass email informing users that account passwords had automatically been reset. Zola said that this action had been extended to all site users “out of an abundance of caution,” though the vast majority were not affected. Both iOS and Android versions of the Zola app were also disabled during the incident but have since been re-enabled. As TechCrunch highlights, Zola does not currently provide any two-factor authentication for account users, making credential stuffing attacks far easier to achieve. The lack of a secondary authentication process goes against best practice for a site like Zola, which handles a large amount of personally and financially sensitive user data. Zola has been directing any users who have been affected to contact [email protected] for further information.
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Photo Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge ‘We need politics. We need public policy. We need social movements’ By May 23, 2022, 11:04am EDT For weeks, tech news has been dominated by billionaire Elon Musk’s attempts to buy (and subsequently avoid buying) Twitter. And since Musk announced his plans in April, people have debated whether it’s better for online social spaces like Twitter to remain publicly traded companies — where they’re under pressure from shareholders — or be owned by a single wealthy figure like Musk. But Ben Tarnoff, author of the upcoming book Internet for the People, believes there’s a better way. Tarnoff’s book outlines the history of the internet, starting with its early days as a government-run network, which was parceled out to private companies with little regard for users. It discusses common proposals like lessening the power of internet gatekeepers with antitrust reform, but it also argues that promoting competition isn’t enough: there should also be a political movement advocating for local, noncommercial spaces online. I spoke with Tarnoff about what that means — and why it’s not as simple as breaking up (or cloning) Twitter. This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity. We’re in thi
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Take-Two has officially completed its $12.7 billion deal for social game developer Zynga, the two companies announced Monday. With the acquisition, Take-Two not only takes ownership of big Zynga franchises like FarmVille but also gets access to Zynga’s expertise building hugely popular free-to-play mobile games. Many notable game studios have invested heavily into mobile, and some of the biggest titles have proven to be absolutely massive revenue drivers. For example, Activision’s Call of Duty: Mobile, which launched in October 2019, recently surpassed $1.5 billion in lifetime revenue, according to Sensor Tower. And in November, Sensor Tower said Krafton’s PUBG Mobile surpassed an eye-popping $7 billion in lifetime revenue. (Tencent is significantly involved with the development of both of those titles, by the way.) Take-Two, which owns major properties like Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, and Civilization, likely wants to get in on that mobile money, and it said in an investor presentation at the time of the deal that it plans to bring more of its franchises to mobile platforms with the help of Zynga. The deal was first revealed in January in what ultimately kicked off a series of blockbuster gaming acquisition announcements. At the time, Take-Two’s Zynga buy was considered one of the biggest acquisitions in video game history, but just over a week later, Microsoft upped it significantly by announcing its $68.7 billion deal for Activision Blizzard. And at the end of
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If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. Sunday, June 19th, is the Day of the Dad in the US, and if you can arrange to be with your dad on Father’s Day, nothing beats the gift of giving your time. But regardless of your proximity to your special guy, getting him a gift will show how well you’re tapped into his interests or, at the very least, that you put some thought into making this Father’s Day a special one. For this year’s Father’s Day gift guide, The Verge staff has pulled together a wide range of gadgets and gear recommendations suited for work and play, like the Apple Watch SE, a handy electric screwdriver, a speedy e-bike, and a classic cocktail book. Whether you have a tech-minded father or one who’s more into analog gifts that don’t require a smorgasbord of cables, we’ve put our heads together to come up with a couple of dozen gift ideas that Dad (probably) hasn’t thought of himself. Price Range Under $20 $20 to $50 $50 to $150 $150 to $400 $400+ The Busy Bistro Magic Puzzle Gifting a puzzle might sound a bit tame, but it can be an exciting one if it's as uniquely detailed as The Busy Bistro Magic Puzzle. It'll be a gift that puzzle lovers and newcomers alike should enjoy, especially given comes with two posters of the artwork, so you and your dad can work together to unlock the twist at the end of the 1,000-piece jigsaw. Price: $19.99 Amazon Hori Split Pad Pro If Nintendo's own Joy-Con controllers for the Switch leave your hands feeling cramped, consider grabbing Hori's Split Pad Pro as a replacement. Their ergonomic design makes the Nintendo Switch feel more like a traditional c
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Stranger Things 4 is like the seasons that came before it in how it draws inspiration from the pop cultural canon of the ‘80s, making its individual chapters feel like studied homages to the genre cinema of the era. In this fourth installment though, Stranger Things embraces a newfound sense of itself as something more than a stylized tribute to the creature features and coming-of-age classics that packed theaters decades ago. Stranger Things 4 is bigger, bloodier, and much more intense than the seasons that came before it, but it also feels like a natural evolution of the sprawling epic the Duffer Brothers have been telling from the very beginning. Time has always been a somewhat tricky thing in Stranger Things’ fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where slimy portals to nightmarish parallel dimensions are known to occasionally open up, but it takes on a new significance as Stranger Things 4 catches up with its teen heroes. Set about six months after the events of its season 3 finale, Stranger Things’ newest batch of chapters opens on Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) all doing their best to find some sense of normalcy after their last battle with a being from the Upside Down. Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson. Image: Netflix “Normal” for Eleven, Will, Will’s older brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and the boys’ mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) means settling into a new life as a seemingly average family in California where they believe “Jane” — Eleven’s birth name — can get a fresh start. With Eleven’s powers on the fritz and her adoptive father Jim Hopper (David Harbour) still missing, learning how to simply exist as a regular teenager is both a challenge and thrill for her. But Eleven’s genuine excitement and the Upside Down going all but dormant following their departure from Hawkins makes the Byers’ journey out West feel like something that’s right for them all. Stranger Things 4 finds the rest of the gang back in Hawkins also mostly thriving as the town’s kids gear up for their impending spring break. With Lucas dedicating more time to Hawkins High’s basketball team and Max still coping with the death of her brother, Mike and Dustin find new friends in the Hellfire Club — a group of Dungeons & Dragons-playing outcasts led by outgoing senior Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn). By splitting the kids up into smaller units and introducing other new characters, like basketball team captain Jason Carver (Mason Dye) and pizza-delivering stoner Argyle (Eduardo Franco) into their arcs, Stranger Things 4 establishes change as one of its defining themes this season. Stranger Things’ core group of childhood friends aren’t breaking up or falling out exactly, but they are growing up and apart as kids tend to do as they get older. Leaning into that reality is part of the way that Stranger Things 4 tries t
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After leaking online over the weekend, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s first trailer has unexpectedly arrived in a blaze of hype and death-defying stunt work. Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is a man on the run in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’s new trailer that finds the infamous Impossible Missions Force agent being pulled into another job whose outcome will shape the arc of human history. It isn’t clear what sort of MacGuffin former IMF director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) is describing to Hunt as the target of this particular mission. But its ability to “control the truth” makes it a powerful enough object that Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Ilsa Faust (Re
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Instagram rolled out a big “brand refresh” today, which is mostly a fancy term for freshening up some marketing materials and making big hand-wavy statements about logos. And there’s plenty o
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Good news for Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 owners: the wait is over. Google Assistant is finally available for download starting today. Google Assistant for Wear OS 3 is available for download in the Google Play Store and can be launched from the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic’s app menu. However, you can also use voice commands to open Google Assistant or reprogram the watches’ home button as a shortcut. This update has been a long time coming. When Google and Samsung first announced Wear OS 3, the companies promised that the unified platform would give Samsung smartwatch users more choice in apps. Previously, Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches could only offer Bixby as a digital as
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Samsung’s latest high-end gaming monitor — the curved 32-inch Odyssey Neo G8 — is now available to preorder for $1,500 and will be available to purchase on June 6th, the company has announced
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Corsair, after having been a leader in the desktop space for decades, is releasing its first-ever gaming laptop. The new Voyager a1600 is an AMD powerhouse, equipped with both Ryzen 6000-series processors and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series. The device is Corsair’s first venture into mobile hardware after acquiring the enthusiast PC builder Origin in 2019. We don’t know with complete certainty what this device will look like yet since the pictures Corsair has provided us with are only renders, and we only got a brief peek during AMD’s Computex keynote. Still, take a look and one feature will likely jump out at you: there’s a touch bar. A closer look at an actual Corsair Voyager. Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge This row of shortcut buttons above the keyboard deck isn’t actually called a “touch bar,” of course. Corsair described it to me, specifically, as “ten easy-access customizable S-key shortcut buttons.” The good thing is that this row of 10 easy-access customizable S-key shortcut buttons adds extra keys to the keyboard — it doesn’t actually replace the function row, which is a choice some... other manufacturers have made with mixed reception. These S-keys are powered by Elgato Stream Deck software, which means you’d likely be using them for various live streaming controls, including switching scenes, launching media, and adjusting audio. We wouldn’t necessarily expect a laptop to be the device of choice for many streamers, but it’s still an interesting idea that’s unusual in the gaming space — and can also work well as a Zoom meeting controller. Also, it appears that you can access these touch controls while the laptop is closed. I do like that you could see the battery indicator before opening up the thing, but I wonder about buttons potentially being bumped while the laptop is in a backpack or something. We’ll know more about how these buttons work when we get our hands on the device (which should be sometime in July, Corsair says). Elsewhere, the Voyager will include a full-size Cherry MX low-profile mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting as well as a 1080p FHD webcam. I’m seeing what looks like a physical webcam shutter in these renders, which may be a good sign that Corsair is putting some effort into this area (which not all gaming manufacturers do). Prospective Voyager buyers will be able to choose between a Ryzen 7 6800HS and a Ryzen 9 6900HS — both configurations come with a Radeon 6800M GPU. You can get up to 64GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR5, of course) and 2TB of storage. The device has a 16-inch 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display and two Thunderbolt 3 USB 4.0 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, one SDXC 7.0 card reader, and one audio jack. It’s
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A Food and Drug Administration committee will meet in mid-June to review data on COVID-19 vaccines for children six months through five years old, the agency announced Monday. If all goes as expected, it could sign off on the shots for that age group within days of that meeting. The announcement came just after Pfizer / BioNTech said in a Monday morning press release that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in children between six months and five years old. They plan to submit the data to the Food and Drug Administration this week. A preliminary analysis
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GameStop has launched a beta for its very own Ethereum wallet that will let users store, send, and receive both cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through their web browsers. The wallet is currently available as an extension for Google Chrome and Brave, but GameStop’s wallet website indicates it will also be available as an iPhone app in the future. After GameStop reached meme stock status last year, the company’s fan base has become largely split between two groups: gamers and investors. Those dedicated to “hodling” the stock may be in favor of GameStop’s foray into We
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This fall, AMD is planning a clean break with the past, and it thinks your need for speed might convince you to do the same. Today at Computex 2022, the company revealed the key facets of its next-generation Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs, their Zen 4 architecture, and — for the first time in five years — a brand-new kind of motherboard you’ll need to buy. While even some of the company’s oldest AM4 motherboards can be updated to support its latest Ryzen 5000-series desktop CPUs, the upcoming Ryzen 7000 requires AM5. As the company told us in January, the Ryzen 7000 are the first PC chips based on a 5nm process, and the AM5 motherboard platform is designed to support DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 out of the box. But there’s a fifth “five” in the mix: AMD says Ryzen 7000 chips will be able to boost north of 5GHz, the first desktop chips from the company to do so. AMD showed off a 5.5GHz clockspeed during its Computex presentation while playing Ghostwire: Tokyo, matching the 5.5GHz turbo of Intel’s Core i9-12900KS. Not that megahertz mean much for performance in isolation — both Intel and AMD have many laptop chips that can turbo to 5GHz too, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re faster at tasks than a lower-clocked desktop CPU. AMD CEO Lisa Su holds up a Ryzen 7000. Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge What should actually make a difference: between increased clockspeed and generation-on-generation process improvements, Zen 4 will also have “greater than 15 percent” faster single-threaded performance than Zen 3 (single-thread still being the most important metric for many apps, particularly games). The new chips might also have higher power consumption, though: the new AM5 motherboards can now give the chips up to 170W of power, up from a reported 142W previously. Image: AMD Under the unusual rook-shaped lid of a Ryzen 7000, you’ll still see three chiplets: two 5nm Zen 4 CPU modules, and also a new 6nm I/O die that has now integrated RDNA 2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers, and built-in power management. Intriguingly, AMD marketing director Robert Hallock says every single Ryzen 7000 chip will have some amount of those integrated graphics, so you’ll only need a video card if you need the additional muscle for work or gaming. Integrated graphics aren’t exactly rare on either Intel or AMD desktop CPUs, but it hasn’t been a guarantee. Another guarantee: at least one speedy PCIe 5.0 NVMe storage slot will be standard on every AM5 motherboard tier that AMD’s announcing today, including the new X670 Extreme, X670 and even the more affordable B650 (note we don’t have any actual prices yet). AMD says it’s already seeing 60 percent faster improvements in sequential read speed, the kind of thing that might give us the mythical 1-second game load times that Microsoft’s DirectStorage promises (but won’t necessarily deliver on day one).
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Just a few years ago, you could barely find a laptop with an AMD chip. Then, they started sprouting up in a few of the best notebooks you could buy. Now, AMD says its chips will feature in 200 different laptop models in 2022 — and with the just revealed “Mendocino,” announced at Computex 2022, it’s trying to “redefine the everyday laptop” as a budget machine with decent battery life. We’ve no idea whether it’ll deliver on that notion, but what it’s promising sounds like a good start: a new series of Ryzen laptop chips that combine four last-gen Zen 2 CPU cores with the latest RDNA 2 graphics on TSMC’s 6nm process to deliver over 10 hours of battery life on a charge — all for a price between $399 and $699. That includes both Windows machines and Chromebooks. Image: AMD Now, you’re probably wondering: what does 10 hours actually mean? It could mean anything; manufacturers quote outrageous battery life estimates all the time. But we at least have a frame of reference here: “Most people are used to four, five, six hours on a notebook in the $399 to $699 space,” says AMD technical marketing director Robert Hallock. “At a minimum, we want 10 hours out of these notebooks.” If I’m being honest, the announcement gives me a little bit of déjà vu — a decade ago at the very same Computex tradeshow, AMD was similarly trying to pitch a quad-core chip with better battery life and better graphics as the way to stop being seen as the cheapo alternative to Intel. But back then, laptop manufacturers didn’t take the company seriously. Now, it’s clear the company has clout as those manufacturers introduce laptop after AMD powered laptop. That includes one AMD says has the longest battery life ever measured on a recent benchmark (the HP Elitebook 865 G9, of which one particular configuration managed 26.1 hours of battery life on MobileMark 2018), and an array of new gaming machines with both AMD CPUs and AMD graphics, which it’s branded “AMD Advantage.” One of those catches the eye: Corsair is pulling a Razer this year by launching its first-ever gaming laptop, the Corsair Voyager — an AMD exclusive. Corsair’s new Voyager laptop effectively has a Touch Bar with Elgato Stream Deck software built-in. Image: AMD It’s the “first laptop ever designed to be a truly mobile streaming solution,” says AMD gaming boss Frank Azor, thanks in part to a secondary touchscreen that acts like an Elgato Stream Deck you can easily take on the go. (Corsair bought both Elgato and Origin PC a few years back.) The main display is a 16-inch, 240Hz panel with FreeSync Premium. A closer look at an actual Corsair Voyager. Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge There’s also a new 16-inch Lenovo Legion Slim 7 with a 99.99Wh battery at 17mm thick, a non-slim vers
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Google has reached an interim agreement with Match Group, the dating app provider behind Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid, that will allow its apps to remain on the Google Play Store while offering alternate payment systems, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month, Match Group filed a complaint against Google, alleging the company “illegally monopolized the market for distributing apps” by requiring app developers to use Google’s billing system and then taking up to a 30 percent cut on any in-app purchases. Match Group later sought a temporary restraining order against Google, but withdrew its request on Friday after Google made some concessions. In addition to Google’s promise that it won’t block or remove Match Group’s apps from the Play Store for using third-party payment systems, Google must make a “good faith” effort to build “additional billing system features that are important to Match Group.” Match has also agreed to work towards offering Google’s billing system as an option in its apps. Instead of paying Google a commission for payments that occur outside of its billing system, Match has set up a $40 million escrow fund until an official agreement has been reached, and is required to keep track of all the fees it would’ve owed Google starting July 1st. Both companies are set to go to trial in April 2023. Google says it plans on filing a countersuit against Match for allegedly breaching its Developer Distribution Agreement in the meantime. Just like Match, the Epic Games-owned Bandcamp is also entrenched in a legal battle against Google. Last month, Epic filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent Google from taking the music storefront off of its app store for using its own billing system. On Friday, Bandcamp announced that it reached an agreement similar to the one Match made with Google, which also allows Bandcamp to stay on the Google Play Store while using its own payment system. The music platform says it will place 10 percent of its proceeds from purchases made on Android in an escrow fund until Epic’s broader antitrust lawsuit against Google moves forward. Epic launched a similar lawsuit against Apple in 2020 after the company removed Fortnite from the App Store for using an alternate billing system — the final ruling determined no real winner. Match Group and Epic Games are both members of the Coalition of App Fairness (CAF), a group of companies that fight against policies it views as anticompetitive, including Google and Apple’s rules that discourage developers from using alternate payment processors on their respective app stores. In March, Google announced that Spotify — another CAF member — would become the first platform to test using its own payment system (in addition to Google’s) on the Play Store. Google and Apple have come under fire for their app store policies by both developers and government regulators in various countries. In February, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Open App Markets Act, a bill geared toward promoting competition in mobile computing, while the EU is set to enforce its own set of laws to regulate Big Tech in spr
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Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI has been ordered to delete all data belonging to UK residents by the country’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO also fined Clearview £7.5 million ($9.4 million) for failing to follow the UK’s data protection laws. It’s the fourth time Clearview has been ordered to delete national data in this way, following similar orders and fines issued in Australia, France, and Italy. Clearview claims its facial recognition database contains some 20 billion images scraped from public sources like Facebook and Instagram. It previously sold its software to an array of private users and businesses, but
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If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. Apple must be joking. That’s how I felt again and again as I jumped through hoop after ridiculous
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Computex is just hours away and will feature keynotes from some of the biggest names in tech, including AMD, Nvidia, and Microsoft. There will almost certainly be some exciting announcements from each brand, but since Computex takes place in Taipei, Taiwan, the keynotes don’t occur at the most convenient times (at least for those of us in North America). Microsoft and AMD’s keynotes will have you staying up into the wee hours of the morning tonight, while Nvidia’s keynote doesn’t take place until late tomorrow evening. Here’s how and when to tune into each keynote: How to watch AMD’s keynote AMD CEO Lisa Su is set to speak in a keynote titled “AMD Advancing the High-Perform
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The era of fixing your own gadgets has nearly arrived, and Valve’s Steam Deck handheld gaming PC may be setting the best example yet — not only does it offer a repair-friendly design, but it no
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Hyundai is building facilities dedicated to manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries in Savannah, Georgia, marking Hyundai’s first EV-only plant in the US (via CNBC). The South Korean automaker will spend $5.5 billion on the new facilities and will receive an additional $1 billion investment from its suppliers. Hyundai expects production at the 2,923-acre site to begin in the first half of 2025, with construction starting in early 2023. The EV factory is set to make 300,000 vehicles per year and will add around 8,100 new jobs. Hyundai doesn’t specify which EV models will be manufactured at the plant — it only hints at a “wide range” of models hitting Georgia’s assembly lines. The company doesn’t reveal much about its battery-building facility either, but notes it “will be established through a strategic partnership.” Hyundai’s EV lineup currently consists of the Kona Electric, Ioniq 5, and the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Nexo. The Hyundai-owned Kia also sells the all-electric EV6 and Niro, while Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand includes the GV60, GV70, and GV80 EVs. Hyundai Global COO José Muñoz told Automotive News that up to six models will be produced at the new facilities by 2028. A source with knowledge of the situation also told the outlet that production could begin with the Hyundai Ioniq and later expand to include a not-yet-announced Kia EV pickup in 2026. “The future of transportation is in the Peach State as we announce the largest project in our state’s history — delivering high-quality jobs on the leading edge of mobility to hardworking Georgians,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement. Earlier this month, the state of Georgia struck a deal with Rivian, offering $1.5 billion in tax incentives to bring the company to the state. The $5 billion factory is expected to create about 7,500 jobs by 2028, and will produce 400,000 EVs every year. Other EV factories are popping up elsewhere in the country. Toyota is building a $1.29 billion battery factory in North Carolina, and GM plans on bringing its third EV battery factory to Michigan. Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler, is
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This evening, Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, successfully docked itself to the International Space Station — demonstrating that the vehicle can potentially bring humans to the ISS in the future. It’s a crucial capability that Starliner has finally validated in space after years of delays and failures. Starliner is in the midst of a key test flight for NASA called OFT-2, for Orbital Flight Test-2. The capsule, developed by Boeing for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, was made to transport NASA’s astronauts to and from the space station. But before anyone climbs on board, NASA tasked Boeing with conducting an uncrewed flight demonstration of Starliner to show that the capsule can hit all of the major milestones it’ll need to hit when it is carrying passengers. Boeing has struggled to showcase Starliner’s ability until now. This mission is called OFT-2 since it’s technically a do-over of a mission that Boeing attempted back in 2019, called OFT. During that flight, Starliner launched to space as planned, but a software glitch prevented the capsule from getting in the right orbit it needed to reach to rendezvous with the ISS. Boeing had to bring the vehicle home early, and the company never demonstrated Starliner’s ability to dock with the
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Larry Ellison, one of the world’s richest people and co-founder of the Oracle software company, was involved in a November 2020 call to develop plans to contest the results of the US presidential election, according to a report from The Washington Post. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Fox News host Sean Hannity, Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow, and True the Vote attorney James Bopp Jr., also participated in the call. As reported by the Post, details of the call surfaced in a court filing associated with a legal battle between True the Vote, a nonprofit organization that promotes baseless claims about election fraud, and Fair Fight, a voting rights organization led by Georgia politician Stacey Abrams. Last year, Fair Fight filed a complaint against True the Vote, alleging the group attacked voter eligibility in Georgia. Here is the November 2020 email mentioning that Larry Ellison was on a call with Trump allies about ways to challenge the election. pic.twitter.com/BU04BNoeVu— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) May 20, 2022 “Jim was on a call this evening with Jay Sekulow, Lindsey O. Graham, Sean Hannity, and Larry Ellison,” Catherine Engelbrecht, the co-founder of True the Vote, writes in an email viewed by the Post. “He explained the work we were doing and they asked for a preliminary report asap, to be used to rally their troops internally, so that’s what I’m working on now.” The email has been posted to Twitter by Puck reporter Teddy Schleifer as well. An anonymous call participant also confirmed to the Post that Ellison was on the call, and indicated that Graham may have been the one to invite him. The source reportedly surmised that the tech executive was brought on to discuss unfounded allegations that the voting machines used during the election somehow interfered with results. When asked about why Graham may have invited Ellison to the call, Graham spokesperson Kevin Bishop told the Post “Probably because Ellison supported Trump.” The Verge reached out to Oracle with a request for comment but didn’t immediately hear back. Although Ellison stepped down as Oracle’s CEO in 2014, he still serves as the company’s chief t
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Amazon is piloting a program that has its contracted Flex drivers picking up and delivering packages from malls, as first reported by Bloomberg. The program, which Bloomberg says Amazon has been running since last year, could help Amazon fulfill orders for same-day or two-day deliveries. “This is just another way we are able to connect Amazon sellers with customers via convenient delivery options,” Amazon spokesperson Lauren Samaha said in an emailed statement to The Verge. Samaha added that only a handful of sellers are participating in the program, but didn’t specify which ones. It’s not entirely clear where Amazon is running the test, either. Drivers who spoke to Bloomberg about the program cite picking up packages from malls located in Chandler, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tysons Corner, Virginia. Much like drivers for Instacart or DoorDash, Amazon’s Flex drivers use their own vehicles to deliver packages. They typically pick up packages from Amazon’s delivery stations, but there’s also the option to pick up packages from local stores, which Samaha says has been available for years. Mall deliveries will work the same way, only drivers will head to stores within local shopping centers to collect packages. Earlier this month, Vox reported that Amazon has been quietly testing a delivery service that pays rural mom-and-pop shops to deliver packages for the company. In a way, the local businesses become sort of like the post office — packages get dropped off 360 days a year, and workers are tasked with delivering them within a 10-mile radius. Amazon previously relied on the US Postal Service and UPS for the final leg of deliveries, in which packages actually reach customers’ doorsteps, but giving local stores that job could lessen the need to involve either service. The retail giant is looking to conquer other shipping services on third-party websites as well. In April, Amazon started letting merchants that already store goods in Amazon’s warehouse add “Buy With Prime” buttons to their websites. This lets customers reap the benefits of Prime shipping when shopping outside of Amazon, and also gives Amazon’s growing fulfillment sec
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Dota 2’s annual tournament, The International, will take place in Singapore this October. While Valve has held The International in the US, Canada, China, Germany, and Romania in the past, this is the first time the global esports competition is heading to a country in Southeast Asia. Valve teased the upcoming event in a tweet but didn’t offer any additional details besides a location and date. The tournament is known for its very generous rewards, with last’s years winning team getting a piece of the $40 million prize pool. That large sum is crowdfunded by in-game purchases made by the Dota 2 community and has only continued to increase over the years. We don't know how much is up for grabs at this year’s competition, but we likely won’t have to wait much longer to find out.
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Chinese display manufacturer Beijing Oriental Electronics (BOE) could lose out on 30 million display orders for the upcoming iPhone 14 after it reportedly altered the design of the iPhone 13’s display to increase yield rate, or the production of non-defective products, according to a report from The Elec (via 9to5Mac). Apple tasked BOE with making iPhone 13 displays last October, a short-lived deal that ended earlier this month when Apple reportedly caught BOE cutting corners on its displays. Sources close to the situation told The Elec that BOE had allegedly been changing the circuit width of the iPhone 13’s display’s thin-film transistors without Apple’s knowledge. (Did they really think Apple wouldn’t notice?). This decision could continue to haunt BOE, however, as Apple ma
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Cryptocurrency exchange FTX will soon allow for traditional stock trading alongside its crypto offerings, the company announced in a press release (via The Wall Street Journal). The functionality is currently available to a select number of users in the US, but it’s aiming to roll it out to more traders in the coming months. FTX says it will offer commission-free trading with access to “hundreds of US exchange-listed securities” including both common stocks and ETFs. It will let customers add money to their accounts through credit card deposits, ACH transfers, and wire transfers. FTX also says it’s the first exchange to let users fund their accounts with fiat-backed stablecoins, such as USDC. While the price of stablecoins isn’t (theoretically) supposed to fluctuate as much as other cryptocurrencies because they’re pegged to a currency or commodity, a recent dip in the overall crypto market has left some stablecoins struggling. FTX plans on routing orders directly through the Nasdaq exchange, instead of using the payment for order flow (PFOF) method employed by Robinhood and other exchanges. PFOF involves brokerages receiving compensation for directing orders to mar
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Image: CBS / Paramount Plus The show’s reach exceeds its grasp By May 20, 2022, 3:00pm EDT The Halo TV series’ season finale premiered yesterday, bringing the first season to an interesting if incomplete end. With a full season in the tank, I’m finally able to fully judge the show as a complete entity, and I gotta say: it’s complicated. The Halo TV series is complicated like a toxic hook-up is complicated. Is this person bad for you? Yes. Is the sex great? Meh. But are you intrigued just enough to keep them around to see where it goes? Absolutely. Despite the fact that I don’t really feel Halo is either a good season of television or a good exploration of the Halo canon, I’m not ready to yeet it into the glasslands the way Netflix did my beloved but troubled Cowboy Bebop. There were just so many good, well-executed concepts swirling around in slipspace just waiting for the right Shaw-Fujikawa engine to get them where they need to be. Pablo Schreiber was a good Master Chief. He made some weird decisions (or rather, the writers made some weird decisions for him) but, overall, he struck the correct tone as John-117. He’s got the gravitas of a natural leader and a competent soldier. He’s also stoic but not too serious. If anything, he might have been a
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There are many ways to get your weekend started right and, unsurprisingly, one of our favorites here at Verge Deals is with some quality tech deals. Teeing off first is the Google Nest Wifi mesh router system. Wellbots has a few different configurations of the Nest Wifi available with special discounts, including the standalone router for just $119 ($50 off when you use code 50VERGE at checkout), the router and one additional Point to extend the mesh network for $189 ($80 off with code 80VERGE), and the router plus two Points for $249 ($100 off with code 100VERGE). The important thing here is to pick the right setup for your home depending on how much space you need to cover. The Nest Wifi router by itself is rated to cover up to 2,200 square feet, and adding just one Point to the mix extends that to 3,800. A home with a tricky layout or thicker walls may benefit from a Point or two to extend the mesh network, even if it’s not massive space. There’s a further benefit to adding a Point to the equation — each one acts as a smart speaker for playing music, podcasts, and accessing the Google Assistant. So when it comes down to picking which of these Wi-Fi 5-capable setups is just right for you, consider the factors of coverage, convenience, and cost that are right for you. Read our review. There’s a great deal happening on 1Password’s subscription of services. New customers can sign up for one year of 1Password’s password manager service and get 50 percent off an
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Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset seems like the worst-kept secret in tech, and a new report about the device from The Information (its second this week) is chock full of details about the unannounced product’s turbulent development. One of the most notable parts of the story is about Apple’s decision to go with a standalone headset. At one point, Apple hadn’t yet decided whether to move forward with a more powerful VR headset that would be paired with a base station or a standalone one. While Apple’s AR / VR leader Mike Rockwell apparently preferred the version with the base
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Twitter announced an update on Friday that should significantly improve the experience inside third-party Twitter apps: it’s giving developers far more access to its reverse chronological timeline. This update to Twitter’s recently launched API v2, the interface that developers use to get data from Twitter, is a new (and, in my opinion, encouraging) step in Twitter’s journey to better support developers. As Twitter notes in its announcement post, the new API v2 feature gives developers a way to “retrieve the most recent Tweets and Retweets posted by the authenticated user and the ac
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It seems like Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to the system that lets Windows 11 run Android apps: on Friday, the company announced an update that upgrades the version of Android running on your computer and helps make the apps feel more at home running on a PC. The Windows Subsystem for Android update is currently only available to test for Windows Insiders, but that’s probably a good thing for reasons we’ll touch on in just a moment. The headlining improvement is an update to the version of Android that underpins Windows’ ability to run mobile apps. The curren
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Google Chat has replaced Hangouts and will now display banners warning you against potential phishing and malware attacks coming from personal accounts, Google announced on Thursday. This tweak for Google Chat is the latest expansion of Google’s attempts to prevent phishing. During its 2022 I/O developer conference, Google discussed several security measures it has implemented to enhance user safety, including warnings against potential security issues and recommendations to fix them. Google also laid out other plans for security measures, like expanded two-step verification, ad customization, and more data security. Warning labels about suspicious links in Google Chat. Ima
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Better wind forecasting can save American consumers millions of dollars a year on their collective utility bills, a new study finds. Wind energy costs have already plummeted thanks to more efficient turbines, but there’s still a major hurdle to overcome when it comes to renewable energy: intermittency. Unlike coal and gas-fired power plants, wind and solar farms can only churn out as much electricity as the weather will allow. So, accurate weather forecasts are crucial for utilities to be able to plan how much wind energy they’ll have on hand on any given day. Wind energy has grown quickly to power nearly 10 percent of the US electricity mix today. The Biden administration has a goal of reaching a carbon pollution-free energy grid by 2035, and more accurate forecasts could help win
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In George Miller’s upcoming Three Thousand Years of Longing, the key to getting the most out of magical wishes without suffering repercussions isn’t being clever or trying to outsmart the ancient djinn that’s been trapped in a bottle for countless lifetimes. It’s stalling. Three Thousand Years of Longing — an epic fantasy based on novelist A.S. Byatt’s short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” — tells the story of Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a solitary mythography scholar who’s almost entirely thrown herself into her work. The movie’s new trailer finds Alithea on her way to Istanbul both for a conference and a bit of shopping at a bazaar where she just so happens to purchase the bottle containing a djinn (Idris Elba). Being the expert of myths and
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Over its first two seasons, Love, Death and Robots has made good on its name by offering myriad animated shorts spanning sci-fi and horror — and occasionally both at the same time. It’s been bloody and visceral but also frequently uneven. For every smart treatise about the nature of humanity, there was a gorefest that was bloody and shocking and little else. But with volume 3, we get arguably the strongest collection yet: nine genre shorts without a weak link among them. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the third season is how varied the shorts, which range from seven to 21 minutes long, are. My personal favorite is The Very Pulse of the Machine, directed by Emily Dean, which follows an astronaut stranded on Jupiter’s moon Io. As she drags the corpse of a dead colleague bac
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After introducing its Blend playlists last year, Spotify announced Friday that it’s expanding the feature to include K-pop artists — and yes, that includes the mega-popular boyband BTS. Spotify’s Blend playlists are an easy way for users to create shared playlists based on each user’s listening preferences. In March, the company released updates for the music discovery feature that include the ability to “blend” with up to 10 people or with musical artists. This new K-pop expansion is an example of the latter. The K-pop Blend artists include BTS, Stray Kids, ENHYPEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, Nmixx, and AB6IX. The feature will mix your favorite tracks with those of the aforementioned bands. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Spotify feature if it didn’t include some data, either. Af
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Amazon’s next Fire 7 tablet will come with a new version of the company’s Fire OS operating system, called Fire OS 8 (h/t to Liliputing and AFTVNews). It’s based on Android 11, which is a pretty significant upgrade to the foundational tech currently powering Amazon’s tablets; the previous version, Fire OS 7, is based on Android 9, which was released in 2018. According to Amazon’s developer documentation, the update could bring a few new user features. For one, it brings a system-wide dark mode to the OS that developers can make their app follow. Mostly, though, it’s good for privacy and security. Along with various updates to the permissions system, the upgrade should also make it easier for Amazon to push security patches. Google isn’t providing updates to Android 9 anymo
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The engineering team operating the Voyager 1 spacecraft — NASA’s robotic planetary explorer currently zooming through interstellar space — is trying to figure out why the spacecraft is sending back data readouts that don’t match what the vehicle is actually doing. It’s a mystery that does not seem to be putting the Voyager 1 spacecraft in any immediate jeopardy, but NASA is trying to figure it out nonetheless. Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 has been exploring the cosmos for nearly half a century. It has a twin, Voyager 2, that was launched 16 days prior in the same year. Both spacecraft did tours of the outer Solar System, flying by planets and photographing moons before eventually traveling outside the boundary of our cosmic neighborhood. In 2012, Voyager 1 passed the heliopause
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Stranger Things’ fourth season finally debuts next week on May 27th, but if you want an early preview of what’s to come, Netflix posted the first eight minutes of the season right on YouTube. I haven’t watched the show since it first premiered, so I have no idea what’s going on in the clip, but it does seem to set up a spooky, intriguing, and bloody season 4. Netflix also revealed how many episodes will be in each of the season’s two “volumes.” Volume one, which is what premieres next week, will have seven episodes. Volume two, which debuts just over a month later, on July 1st, will have two episodes. And the season is the longest yet. According to The New York Times article profiling show creators Matt and Ross Duffer, season 4 is “five hours longer than any previous o
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Audi is adding Apple Music into its cars’ infotainment systems, giving drivers the ability to listen to their playlists and catch up on podcasts without the need for any additional device. This marks the second Volkswagen group automaker to get the integrated streaming music service, as Porsche had already added the feature into its all-electric Taycan. “Integrating Apple Music into the Audio infotainment system marks the next step in the collaboration between Audi and Apple,” said Audi’s head of product marketing Christiane Zorn. It shows that Apple is more willing to hand automakers the keys to its music streaming platform, giving drivers more choices on using the service instead of being locked into using Apple CarPlay or resorting to Bluetooth from a smartphone. Nearly all
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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. If you’re a Costco member, you can currently cash in on sales for a variety of Apple online services. The big-box retailer has discounted subscriptions for Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and Apple TV Plus (via MacRumors). The going rate for a year of Apple TV Plus or Apple Arcade is usually $49.99, but either one is currently available through Costco for $44.99. A year of Apple News Plus would usually cost $119.99 when purchased on a month-to-mon
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If Do Kwon didn’t exist, someone would have had to invent him. For instance, there’s the bets he made — worth $11 million in total and held in escrow by Crypto Twitter influencer Cobie — that his token Luna would be worth more in a year than it was in March 2022. Fond of insults such as “continue in poverty ser,” “u still poor?,” and “I don’t debate the poor on Twitter,” Kwon is the boisterous, combative co-founder of Terraform Labs, best known for the ongoing disaster that is Terra / Luna. As of this writing, Luna is worth less than a cent, and its sister token Terra, which was meant to be pegged to a dollar as a stablecoin, is worth 6 cents. An investor, who told reporters from Yonhap News Agency he’d lost 2 to 3 billion won (about $2.3 million), was arrested f
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Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge Every Friday, The Verge publishes our flagship podcast, The Vergecast, where Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and editor-at-large David Pierce discuss the week in tech news with the reporters and editors covering the biggest stories. This week on the show, Nilay and David along with Verge managing editor Alex Cranz discuss the most interesting laptops announced this week at Computex 2022: a new OLED laptop under $1,000, an LTE Chromebook to take calls with, a gaming laptop with stereoscopic 3D content, and more. In the second segment of the show, Verge senior reporter Liz Lopatto returns for her segment,
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If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. When it comes to multisport fitness watches, you probably think of something from Garmin, Polar, or Suunto. But if you enjoy outdoor sports and are terminally online, you might have also heard of Coros. The company is a relative newcomer to the space, but I’ll admit to being curious when I started seeing it pop up more frequently in running subreddits, forums, and on TikTok during the pandemic. The most devoted athletes in this category already know what they do and don’t like from their GPS watches — and I was eager to see how the $699 Coros Vertix 2 would measure up against the category’s heavyweights. The Vertix 2 is the most expensive and full-featured watch in Coros’ lineup. Most notably, it supports dual-frequency satellite communication and can access all five major satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS) simultaneously. That’s a first for a smartwatch, and the promise is the Vertix 2 should be able to deliver accurate GPS tracking even in the most challenging environments. Basically, this is supposed to be a tough GPS watch for the most intrepid athletes. That’s evident from the Vertix 2’s specs. It has an estimated battery life of 140 standard GPS hours and 60 days of everyday use. Compared to its predecessor, the Vertix 2 also adds color topographic maps, the ability to control an action camera, 32GB of music storage, and “ECG capability.” (It’s not truly an ECG, though more on that in a bit.) As far as durability goes, the case is made of titanium, the display is a “diamond-like coated sapphire glass,” and it has
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The National Streaming Day promo is for new and returning subscribers By May 20, 2022, 10:29am EDT If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. Hulu is “celebrating” National Streaming Day. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Did you know that today is National Streaming Day? Don’t worry if you forgot to get your significant other a gift or a card, we all forget these made-up-sounding days. What actually matters for these superfluous holidays is when there’s a tangible benefit, like a good deal. Thankfully, Hulu is offering a special promotion for this occasion, allowing both new and returning subscribers to get an ad-supported plan for $1 per month for the first three months — a savings of about $18. This deal will sound familiar to some prior ones from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you may be eligible even if you’ve taken advantage of previous promos from Hulu. You have until May 27th at 11:59PM PT to claim it, and it’s available to entirely new subscribers as well as returning subscribers who canceled over one month ago. After the $1 per month promotional rate ends, your account will automatically continue at the usual monthly $6.99 price. Just be sure to set a reminder to cancel before that if you plan to only binge what you can during th
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If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. The 2021 Lenovo Legion 5 Pro was my favorite gaming laptop of last year. I loved its keyboard, its 16-inch QHD 16:10 aspect ratio display, and, of course, its powerful RTX 3070 GPU. What I loved the most was that Lenovo achieved in a $1,599.99 machine what most competitors charge close to $2K or more for. The 2022 version of the Legion 5 Pro brings more of the same but with an as-tested $1,999 price that costs $500 more than the AMD-based version that we tested last year. It still delivers one of the best typing experiences that I’ve experienced on a gaming laptop, and Lenovo improved on its display by adding variable refresh rate support to keep games looking smooth. As for what’s new, it’s faster, with support for the latest 12th Gen Intel processors and AMD’s Ryzen 6000 H-series processors, along with new and more powerful GPUs. Also, last year’s edgier-looking top shell looks a little more toned down now. Some downsides have carried over from the 2021 version, however, including the base model’s paltry 512GB of storage. It only takes a few games to all but use up such a small amount of space. And while I gave mild praise to its speakers last year, I’ve tested a few competing gaming laptops, like the Asus Strix Scar 17 and Razer’s latest Blade, that prove how much better they can sound if you’re willing to spend more. And some of Lenovo’s preinstalled apps and bloatware like McAfee anti-virus software regularly serve annoying pop-ups on the corner of the screen. Then, there’s the matter of supply. The 2021 Legion 5 Pro was sold exclusively at Walmart, and it was sold out for most of the year, though it’s now more readily available for $1,399.99. I’m not sure if the pandemic’s effects on chip shortages are to blame, if Walmart dropped the ball, or if Lenovo misjudged how popular this model might be. Either way, it was disappointing to me that readers couldn’t find my favorite laptop in stock. As for this year’s model, we’ll have to wait and see if that situation improves. At the time of publication, Lenovo had almost no de
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You might not know it from glancing at a Chromebook, but Google’s Chrome OS is in a constant state of evolution. The operating system receives minor updates every two to three weeks and major releases every six weeks. And, at any given moment, Google’s staff is working on features and software enhancements that most people won’t see for a matter of weeks — or months. Here’s a little secret, though: if you’re feeling adventurous, you can gain access to those unreleased enhancements. All it takes is the flip of a virtual switch in your Chromebook’s settings, and you’ll have all sorts of interesting new options at your fingertips. First, it’s important to understand exactly what’s involved so you can make an educated decision about which setup makes the most sense for you. Understanding the Chrome OS channels Chrome OS actually exists in four separate development channels. The software you see on your Chromebook varies considerably depending on which channel you choose: The Stable channel is the polished and ready for prime time version of the software that all devices use by default. The Beta channel is updated weekly and receives new features about a month ahead of its Stable sibling. The Developer channel is updated as frequently as twice a week and sees s
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If you’d like to bolster your home security while making it a little smarter in the process, some of Ring’s best security devices are selling at new all-time low prices. Starting us off, Ring’s excellent Floodlight Cam Pro costs $199.99 instead of $249.99 at Amazon and Best Buy. We consider this the best floodlight camera for people who are heavily invested in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem. It has similar guts to the Ring Pro 2 video doorbell camera, providing 1080p resolution footage but with exceptionally bright 2000-lumen lights. It also has a loud 110dB siren to keep would-be intruders away. We were impressed with its crisp video quality, excellent digital zoom capability, and adjustable motion detection features. Keep note, though, that this floodlight camera delivers a livestream view to the app out of the box. You’ll have to pay for a Ring subscription plan (starting at $3 per month) to add extra features, like person detection and recorded video. Ring Floodlight Cam Pro The Ring Floodlight Cam Pro comes in a wired or plug-in version for flexible installation and delivers crisp, high-quality video with adjustable motion detection, 2000 lumens of light, and a good digital zoom. It only offers smart alerts for people or motion, however, and works with Ring or Alexa apps but not any other smart home platform. $200 at Amazon $200 at Best Buy The Ring Alarm Pro set comes with four contact sensors, a motion sensor, a Z-Wave range extender, a keypad, and more.
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Qualcomm is introducing a wireless version of its augmented reality Smart Viewer, a reference design that manufacturers could adapt into commercial headsets. The Wireless AR Smart Viewer updates Qualcomm’s earlier smart glasses design with a higher-powered chipset, plus a tethering system that uses Wi-Fi 6 / 6E and Bluetooth instead of a USB-C cable. That comes with the tradeoff of a potentially very short battery life — although Qualcomm says consumer-ready versions might be designed differently. The new Smart Viewer was developed by Goertek. It’s currently available to a few manufacturing partners with plans to expand access in the coming months. Like its predecessor, it connects to a phone or computer and delivers mixed reality experiences with full head and hand tracking, using tracking cameras and projections powered by micro-OLED displays. Qualcomm has maintained the previous 1920x1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate, but it’s slightly narrowing the field of view, dropping it from 45 degrees to 40 degrees diagonal. That’s substantially smaller than the non-consumer-focused Magic Leap 2, which offers closer to 70 degrees. But in its favor, the Smart Viewer has a slimmer profile than either the wired Smart Viewer or most competitors. Its frames are 15.6mm deep compared to around 25mm for the wired version, softening AR glasses’ typical bug-eyed look. (This shallower design, which uses freeform optics, might be much harder to achieve with a wider FOV.) At 115 grams, it’s a little heftier than the 106-gram Nreal Light glasses, a bit lighter than the rumored 150 grams of Apple’s AR / VR headset, and far svelter than VR headsets like the 503-gram Meta Quest 2. The wireless viewer uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chipset compared to the previous model’s XR1 — something Qualcomm says offers more power for computer vision processing and other tasks. Qualcomm promises a brisk 3ms latency between the glasses and the connected phone or PC, as long as your phone or PC includes Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6900 chip. (That’s not a given for many machines.) Qualcomm AR / VR head
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We’ve known for some time that enigmatic game director Hideo Kojima was working on a new project, but there hasn’t been much indication as to what it might be. Now, however, it looks like we know after actor Norman Reedus let it slip in an interview that he’s working on a sequel to Death Stranding. Speaking to Leo magazine, Reedus said that “we just started the second one” when asked about his work on the first Death Stranding, before explaining just how much work went into his motion-captured performance. “It took me maybe two or three years to finish all the MoCap sessions and
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Now that Obi-Wan has his own show, there’s only one logical next step: an appearance in Fortnite. Epic announced that Mr. Kenobi will be the latest Star Wars character in the battle royale when he hits the game’s item shop on May 26th. That’s the day before the new show Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney Plus. In addition to the Jedi Knight himself, players can also snap up a bundle that includes a Jedi Interceptor glider and a pickaxe blade that is sadly not a lightsaber. Of course, this is far from the crossover between Fortnite and Star Wars. Just this month, Epic temporarily added li
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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 set the stage for the biggest Android smartphones of 2022, including Samsung’s flagship Galaxy — but it’s about to be surpassed by a better “Plus” version that’ll no doubt appear in buy-it-for-the-bragging-rights gaming phones and luxury handsets. It’s called the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which just rolls off the tongue, and Qualcomm says it’ll offer 10 percent faster CPU performance, 10 percent faster GPU clocks, and — get this — use 15 percent less power for “nearly 1 hour” of extra gameplay or, say, 50 minutes of social media browsing. Technically, Qualcomm says it’s achieved “up to 30 percent” better power efficiency from both the CPU and GPU, and 20 percent better AI performance per watt, but that doesn’t necessarily all transfer into more battery life — some of it’s about performance, too. Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 features. Image: Qualcomm Qualcomm is particularly touting better sustained performance from the new chip too — theoretically maintaining its clockspeed for longer as it heats up while gaming or tapping into 5G. Of course, that all depends on how phone manufacturers decide to cool the chip. The company’s not breaking down where the extra performance and efficiencies are coming from, but you can see some of the chip’s other features in the slide above, even though many of them (like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 10Gbps of theoretical 5G, and 8K HDR video capture) haven’t changed from the original Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Qualcomm says it’ll live alongside that older chip, so you can probably expect a price premium. Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 features. Image: Qualcomm Qualcomm’s also announcing a new Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 today, suggesting to journalists that it’s aimed at gamers with a 20 percent graphics performance boost over the prior gen and the trickle-down of features like its “Adreno Frame Motion Engine” to make games see smoother by interpolating frames. But it’s pretty clear from the company’s press release that “gaming phone” makers are choosing the 8 Plus Gen 1 instead. Asus ROG and Black Shark are both signed up
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LG just took the wraps off a new flagship CineBeam ultra-short throw (UST) projector, model HU915QE. The 4K three-channel laser projector blasts a super bright 3,700 ANSI lumen image that measures 100 inches when placed just 9.8cm (3.9 inches) from a wall, thanks to an excellent 0.19 throw ratio. Other UST projectors like the AWOL LTV-3500 require a distance of 24.9cm (9.8 inches) to achieve that same 100-inch diagonal picture size. And while that might not sound like a large span, it can easily exceed the width of common sideboards where the projector will live. Better yet, you can place the new LG CineBeam 18.3cm (7.2 inches) from an Ambient Light Rejection (ALR) screen for a giant 120-inch picture with improved contrast (to make the most of the projector’s support for HDR10, HLG, HGiG) and vibrancy, even when daylight creeps into the room. Just be ready to spend another $1,000 or so in the process. Requires 18.3cm (7.2 inches) for a giant 120-inch picture. Image: LG The LG HU915QE runs webOS which means easy access to all your favorite streaming services including Netflix (which is still a challenge for Android TV projectors). It also has support for screen mirroring, Apple’s AirPlay 2, and a pair of USB 2.0 jacks for additional content sourcing options. The projector has an integrated 40W 2.2 channel speaker for use in a pinch, or a trio of HDMI eARC ports to make the most of your home theater sound setup. LG says that CineBeam HU915QE will be available in the first half of 2022, starting with “key markets in North America, Europe an
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There’s nothing quite like settling into a hotel room bed and dozing off to sleep — only to be woken up by the sound of your neighbor in the room next door trimming their nails at a hundred decibels or doing some late-night furniture rearranging. For just these kinds of occasions, seasoned travelers will sometimes pack a travel white noise machine or use an app to help get a little peace. But if you’re carrying an iPhone running iOS 15, you’ve already got a white noise feature built right into your phone’s operating system. Here’s how to set it up. (For this article, I used an iPhone 11 running iOS 15.4.1.) Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual (under Hearing) > Background Sounds (basically, Apple’s term for white noise). Tap the on / off toggle at the top of the page to start Background Sounds. You can choose from a few different sounds. Just tap Sound and pick from the following options: Balanced noise Bright noise Dark noise Ocean Rain Stream On the main Background Sounds menu page, you can also adjust the volume of the white noise independently from other phone functions. There are also options to enable background sounds while playing other media on your phone and to have sounds stop playing when the screen is locked. There’s a quick way to access all of this if you’d rather not dive into menus every time you want to turn on white noise. Once you’ve set your preferred sound from the options above, follow these steps: Navigate back t
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Canada has banned the use of Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE’s equipment in its 5G networks, its government has announced. In a statement, it cited national security concerns for the move, saying that the suppliers could be forced to comply with “extrajudicial directions from foreign governments” in ways that could “conflict with Canadian laws or would be detrimental to Canadian interests.” Telcos will be prevented from procuring new 4G or 5G equipment from the companies by September this year, and must remove all ZTE- and Huawei-branded 5G equipment from their networks by June 28th, 2024. Equipment must also be removed from 4G networks by the end of 2027. “The Government is committed to maximizing the social and economic benefits of 5G and access to telecommunications services writ large, but not at the expense of security,” the Canadian government wrote in its statement. The move makes Canada the latest member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to have placed restrictions on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in their communication networks. US telcos are spending billions removing and replacing the equipment in their networks, while the UK banned the use of Huawei’s equipment in 2020, and ordered its removal by 2027. Australia and New Zealand have also restricted the use of their equipment on national security grounds. At the core of these concerns is China’s National Intelligence Law, which critics claim can be used to make Chinese organizations and citizens cooperate with state intelligence work, CBC News reports. The fear is this could be used to force Chinese tech companies like Huawei and ZTE to hand over sensitive information from foreign networks to the Chinese government. Huawei disputes the claim and says its based on a “misreading” of China’s law. “China will comprehensively and seriously evaluate this incident and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” China’s Canadian embassy said in a statement in response to Canada’s ban. Canada has taken around three years to come to its decision about the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in its telecoms networks, a period which Bloomberg notes has coincided with worsening relations between it and China. In December 2018, Canada arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on suspicion of violating US sanctions. Days later, China imprisoned two Canadian nationals: former diplomat Michael Spavor and entrepreneur Michael Kovrig. After the US came to a deferred-prosecution deal with Meng that allowed her to return to China last year, the Canadians were released. Opposition politicians criticized the Canadian government’s delay. “In the years of delay, Canadian telecommunications companies purchased hundreds of millions of dollars of Huawei equipment which will now need to be removed from their networks at enormous expense,” Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said in a statement reported by the Toronto Sun. But Bloomberg reports that the likes of BCE and Telus have already been winding down their use of Huawei’s equipment over fears of an eventual ban.
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Meta and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg can’t catch a break — everyone just keeps saying that they don't want to live in the metaverse. This week, it’s Amazon’s head of devices David Limp, who said that he doesn’t want to live in a virtual world 24 / 7, or even a few hours a day. Limp expressed similar views when interviewed last month by the Financial Times, where he spent most of his time espousing his vision of ambient computing — the idea that the computer is everywhere — as he’s been keen to do over the last year and change. While speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, Limp was asked what he was thinking about the metaverse. He said that while he does believe that there’ll be “some form of place-shifting” in the future, he’s focused on devices that “enhance the here and now.” He said that even with current tech like phones and wireless earbuds, it can be hard to communicate with his kids, even when they’re in the same house. “I want to try to work on technologies that bring people’s heads up, get them to enjoy the real world about them, make the family a more communal experience.” He also said that the term “metaverse” was almost impossible to pin down: “if I asked these few hundred people what they thought the metaverse was, we’d get 205 different answers. We don’t have a common definition, it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.” When it comes to Meta, Mark Zuckerberg has tried to describe what he means by “metaverse,” but at this point he’s pretty long on vision and short on concrete details — though he does say that AR glasses will play a big role. For what it’s worth, here’s our definition of the metaverse. Limp addressed AR glasses, saying that they’re better than VR because you can at least see the real world. However, he said, “I wouldn’t like if it completely embeds everybody and distracts them from the here and now.” Limp isn't alone in critiquing Meta’s proposed future. Last month, Snap’s CEO said something very similar about how there’s no one definition of “metaverse,” and said that the company’s “big bet is on the real world” where people can spend time together. Former head of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé said that “Facebook itself is not an innovative company” and predicted that people wouldn’t want to spend all of their entertainment time in virtual reality. “I look at the vision that’s been to date articulated, and I’m not a believer,” he said. Of course, just because a lot of people in tech make fun of something doesn’t mean that it’s absolutely going to fail — after Apple announced the first iPhone, then-CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer ridiculed its lack of keyboard and price tag. However, at least in my opinion, there’s a difference between saying that a product isn’t great for one reason or another and saying that it’s fundamentally incompatible with the way people want to live their lives. At this point, it’s hard to predict who will end up being right. But in my heart, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I want it to be the guy from Amaz
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Though it’s only been a few weeks since Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novel began airing, the streaming platform’s already made the move to renew the show for two more seasons. Variety reports that Netflix has greenlit Heartstopper for two more installments with Oseman slated to return as writer and executive producer. Like the graphic novel, Heartstopper tells the story of how Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) fall in love while attending an all-boys grammar school. Heartstopper’s first season focuses on the beginning of Charlie and Joe’s romance with plot points pulled from the graphic novel’s first and second
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Samsung has released a Pokémon-themed poké ball case for its Galaxy Buds true wireless earbuds in South Korea. It’s the perfect accessory for anyone who’d prefer their charging case to look d
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A Meta executive told employees on Thursday that they are prohibited from talking about abortion on Workplace, an internal version of Facebook, citing “an increased risk” that the company is seen as a “hostile work environment.” The policy, which Meta put in place in 2019 but hasn’t been reported until now, prohibits employees from discussing “opinions or debates about abortion being right or wrong, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic,” according to a section of the company’s internal “Respectful Communication Policy” seen by The Verge. Some employees have called on management to do away with the policy in t
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Nearly two and a half years after its first launch didn’t go to plan, Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, successfully launched to space this afternoon, reaching the right
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