posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Disney Plus has surpassed 50 million subscribers — up more than 22 million since the last time Disney disclosed numbers two months ago. Disney’s new subscriber numbers follow a series of rollouts in international territories, including the UK, India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Although Disney Plus did delay the launch of its service in France due to government concern that it would put too much strain on bandwidth, the app is now available there, too. Disney previously reported that it had 28 million subscribers during an earnings call with investors in February. To compare, Netflix has 167 million subscribers around the world, or just under one-third of Netflix’s total subscriber base. Hulu, Disney’s other... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge There’s a lot of music — and storytelling and news — on YouTube, and so it stands to reason that you’d want to be able to play it in the background on your mobile device while reading, texting, or doing other things. Unfortunately, unless you’re a subscriber to YouTube Premium ($11.99 a month) or YouTube Music ($9.99 a month), your ability to listen to a YouTube video in the background is limited — doable, but limited. Android users have it slightly better in this respect. Recent versions of the Android YouTube app allow you to use Picture-in-Picture (PiP) to view (or listen to) almost any YouTube video while you’re reading your tweets or checking out the latest news — that is, any video except one that’s labeled as being music. We’ll... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Twitter is the social media world’s most reliable doubled-edged sword. One minute, you’re retweeting a funny meme account and enjoying some wholesome discussion around your current TV binge fixation, and the next, you’re being buried by a harassment campaign or finding your job in jeopardy over something dumb (or even harmless) you tweeted out in 2011. The unfortunate reality of Twitter is that it is, at its most brutal, a performative minefield waiting to destroy either your career or your emotional well-being — quite often both if given enough time. However, some of us use Twitter for our livelihoods, both for networking purposes and because it remains an invaluable platform to grow and directly interface with your audience. If... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Remote workers, meeters, streamers, and hangers-out, take note: Google’s Hangouts Meet is no longer called Hangouts Meet; it’s now called Google Meet. The rebrand was made apparent yesterday in a Google Cloud blog post written by two of Google’s directors of product management, Karthik Lakshminarayanan and Smita Hashim. The blog post lists a number of privacy measures that Google Meet employs to keep remote meetings from being hijacked, and also refers to the service as Google Meet. Android Police found that a number of support pages had been updated with the new title as well. The rebrand appears to be a work in progress In an email to The Verge, Google confirmed that it has officially changed the service’s name. Google also confirmed... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Illustration by Grayson Blackmon and Alex Castro / The Verge Experts hope the pandemic is ‘a wake up call’ Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge Trying to describe Quibi’s essence to people is difficult. There are shows where food explodes in chefs’ faces, series about flipping murder homes, and Chrissy Teigen presiding over a small claims court. Quibi’s best content operates on the belief that “the more ludicrous, the better,” but that’s easier to show than tell. Or it would be if people could share any of what they were watching. Quibi doesn’t allow people to take screenshots while shows are playing. Any effort to do so produces a black screen. Quibi isn’t the only streamer in this predicament. Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and other video apps also have their content blacked out when people take screenshots. Unlike its bigger competitors, however, Quibi lacks any kind of web... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Zoom’s latest update might help keep more meetings secure. The videoconferencing software now hides Meeting ID numbers from the title bar, meaning if you screenshot your meeting, your ID code won’t be in the shot. This happened to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He took a screenshot of his remote Zoom meeting and exposed the meeting ID to a sensitive government call. Keeping that ID number private is essential to protecting yourself and other participants from unwanted attendees tuning into your discussions. The other updates are relatively minor, including a built-in security menu button in the meeting host’s toolbar as well as moving the invite button. Zoom said earlier this month that it’s enacting a feature freeze... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
On a live YouTube stream on Wednesday, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan apologized to users for a string of security lapses that have rocked the app in recent weeks. Speaking to viewers for more than two hours, Yuan touted the company’s recent privacy updates and pledged to take any lapses seriously. “Clearly we have a lot of work to do to ensure the security of all these new consumer use cases,” Yuan said on the call. “But what I can promise you is that we take these issues very, very seriously. We’re looking into each and every one of them. If we find an issue, we’ll acknowledge it and we’ll fix it.” “Clearly we have a lot of work to do” The live chat comes on the heels of similar interviews with CNN and The Wall Street Journal, as Zoom scrambles to... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
In the ongoing quest to one day reuse its rockets after launch, Rocket Lab has successfully tested out a way to catch a rocket falling out of the sky using a pair of helicopters. A few weeks ago, the company dropped a dummy rocket from one helicopter and caught the falling vehicle in midair with another helicopter, shown in a new video released by Rocket Lab today. The air show, done “several weeks” ago, before quarantine restrictions started taking effect, was meant to demonstrate a critical part of Rocket Lab’s plan to eventually recover its vehicles. In August, the company detailed a way to essentially catch its Electron rocket when it comes back from space. According to the plan, the vehicle will fall back to Earth after launching to... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google is issuing a ban on the use of the Zoom teleconferencing platform for employees. The company is citing security concerns with the app that have arisen since Zoom became one of the most popular services for free video chatting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed News earlier today. Google emailed employees last week about the ban, telling workers who had the Zoom app installed on their Google-provided machines that the software would soon no longer function. It is worth noting that Google offers its own enterprise Zoom competitor called Meet as part of its G Suite offering. “We have long had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Oakland-based band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down had a problem. Their plan to shoot a music video for their single “Phenom” was abruptly canceled as shelter-in-place orders rolled in. The band, crew, and dancers could no longer meet up in person, and they were faced with a decision: put everything on hold or figure out a way to make the music video remotely. “At first we didn’t know if we would even release the song because it’s about people unifying,” Thao tells The Verge. “So it was never an option for me to shoot the video solo.” But then her manager had an idea. What if they shot the music video entirely within Zoom? That’s exactly what they did, and the resulting one-take music video was filmed... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Image: Riot Games Riot’s new video game, Valorant, is both a breath of fresh air and completely unoriginal at the same time. The first-person shooter opened its closed beta on Tuesday to gargantuan Twitch viewership, thanks in part to Riot’s deal with the platform that let popular streamers gift access keys to its beta while they played the game live. After watching many hours of the game and playing quite a few myself, it’s clear that Valorant is a hyper-competitive game catering to perhaps a small slice of the overall gaming community. (Right now, it’s only on PC, with no plans for a console release.) But that doesn’t matter, because it already seems quite likely to be the next big esports sensation, despite its hardcore nature and the fact that it... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 365,000 vehicles in North America after discovering that the video feed from their backup cameras can sometimes stay on for more than 10 seconds after the driver shifts out of reverse. The company says it’s unaware of any injuries or crashes related to the issue. Vehicles included in the recall are the 2019 and 2020 Ram pickup trucks, Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, and Jeep Renegade with either 8.4-inch or 12-inch dashboard screens. It also includes the 2019 Dodge Challenger and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and Jeep Cherokee. Owners will be notified by Fiat Chrysler starting this month, and the company says a fix will be available as both an over-the-air... Continue reading…

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posted about 4 hours ago on the verge
Every computer I’ve called my own for work or personal use has been a laptop. I love the portability of a laptop. It’s great to do work while lounging in my favorite chair or at a coffee shop (when we could still do that). But it’s really hard for me to put in a full workday hunched over one. To fix that, I’ve found that plugging my laptop to an external monitor on my desk is essential for me to be productive. Now I can’t imagine working without one. If you’re considering adding an external monitor to your macOS setup to help fix that laptop hunch or just to add some extra screen real estate, read on. I’ll walk you through how to set up the external monitor with your Mac and adjust your display settings so that you can make the monitor... Continue reading…

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posted about 4 hours ago on the verge
Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games Inc. via Getty Images League of Legends’ 2020 Championship Series (LCS) Spring Split Playoffs have a new home in the United States: ESPN. The network announced today that five matches with air on ESPN2, the secondary network ESPN uses for much of its esports coverage, and through the ESPN app. Those matches will also be made available to replay directly after the games end within the ESPN app. The first match of the championship series will pit 100 Thieves against TSM on Wednesday, April 8th, at 4PM ET. “We’re excited to work with Riot Games to create innovative content opportunities around this amazing franchise system,” said John Lasker, vice president of digital programming at ESPN. “Showcasing one of the most popular esports in the world with the LCS’... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Microsoft previously shipped a full Linux kernel in Windows 10, and now the company is planning to fully integrate Linux file access into the built-in File Explorer. A new Linux icon will be available in the left-hand navigation pane in File Explorer, providing access to the root file system for any distros that are installed in Windows 10. The icon that will appear in File Explorer is the famous Tux, the penguin mascot for the Linux kernel. Microsoft is testing the Linux File Explorer integration in a new build of Windows 10 that’s available for testers today. This is all enabled through Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux, a system the company has been gradually improving with Bash shell integration, native OpenSSH... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Netflix now lets you protect your profile with a PIN, keeping other people on your account from accessing your home screen and personalized experiences. This new feature was announced as part of the service’s updated parental controls and should prevent young viewers from finding their way into a parent’s profile where mature content is accessible. But PIN protection can be used even if you don’t have kids and simply want to prevent someone else on your account — friends, family, a significant other, etc. — from messing with your Netflix recommendations and viewing history. Before this new feature was enabled, it was a trivial matter to switch between profiles, so this new extra step should help stop people from “accidentally” watching... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Ivan Vagner (left), Anatoly Ivanishin (center), and Chris Cassidy (right). | Image: NASA In the wee hours of the morning on April 9th, three astronauts are set to launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan and journey to the International Space Station, where they’ll join three crew members already living and working in orbit. Because this flight is launching during a pandemic, tighter restrictions and protocols are in place to prevent the novel coronavirus from making its way to space. The three people headed to orbit tomorrow include NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Ivanishin and Vagner are last-minute replacements to the flight after one of the original cosmonauts assigned to the mission suffered an eye injury. For Cassidy and Ivanishin, this will be their third... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon is temporarily extending return windows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced today. If you live in the US or Canada, most items ordered on Amazon between March 1st and April 30th can be returned until May 31st, 2020. Here’s Amazon’s full description of the new policies from its blog summarizing all of the company’s efforts to respond to the pandemic: We’re temporarily extending return windows in light of the ongoing global health crisis. Most items ordered through Amazon or seller partners in the U.S. and Canada between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can now be returned until May 31, 2020. Items ordered through Amazon or seller partners in Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, and the Netherlands between February 15,... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Loren Grush / The Verge Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to cover their faces in public, even if it’s with something as simple as a bandanna. Wearing a mask probably won’t stop you from catching the novel coronavirus, but a large percentage of infected people don’t show symptoms, and it might limit how much virus you shed if you’ve got COVID-19 without knowing it. As Nicole Wetsman writes, we can also think of this as a large-scale test of how well masks work, so we’ll be better prepared for a future disease outbreak. With supply chains like Amazon overwhelmed and many products conserved for medical personnel, though, many of us have had to improvise. Some Verge staffers have sewn their own masks. Some attempted the... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Riot’s latest game had a record-breaking day on Twitch — despite the fact that it isn’t even out yet. Yesterday the studio’s new shooter Valorant launch in a limited closed beta, and viewers flocked to watch streams of the game. According to Twitch, the game broke the “single-day hours watched record in a single game category” with 34 million hours watched. Meanwhile, the game hit a peak concurrent viewer total of 1.7 million, which is second only to the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. One of the main driving factors behind Valorant’s huge day is the way the closed beta works. In order to get a key to play, viewers had to watch specific streams on Twitch. Riot recruited many of the biggest shooter players on the platform,... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter has removed a privacy feature that allowed all users to stop sharing some private information with advertisers. The setting prevented Twitter from sharing information like the ads you saw or interacted with and the tracking identifier for your phone. For most users, that information will now be shared by default and can’t be turned off. The shared data is used to show the efficacy of advertising on Twitter, the company says. It helps Twitter prove that people are actually watching, interacting with, and otherwise seeing the ads that advertisers are paying for, which helps the company “continue operating as a free service.” Twitter wants more data to prove that its ads work An option in Twitter’s privacy settings called “Share... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Image: Google Google is launching the free version of its Stadia game streaming service today. Anyone with a Gmail address can sign up, and Google is even providing a free two-month trial of Stadia Pro as part of the launch. It comes just two months after Google promised a free tier was imminent, and it will mean anyone can get access to nine titles, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper, free of charge. Even existing Stadia Pro customers will get two months of the service for free, as Google is not charging existing subscribers for the next two months. Fourteen countries will be able to access the free trial of Stadia Pro, and users can buy and keep individual games on the service. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales /... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Two employees of controversial facial recognition startup Clearview AI have been found to have ties to white nationalism, according to an exhaustive report by HuffPost published on Tuesday. The report found that one investigator for the company belonged to a white nationalist group based in Washington, DC who continued to work for the company as recently as last month. Another employee had enthusiastically endorsed “Islamophobia, Eurocentrism and anti-Semitism” in online writings in 2015. Reached by The Verge, Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That said he was unaware of the online writings and that neither employee remains with the company. “I learned about the world, its inhabitants and ideas online.” “I am not a white supremacist or an... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
Image: Sony The next-gen console rollouts from Sony and Microsoft this year have been, for lack of a better word, soporific. But after weeks of spec comparisons and hardware boasts, Sony finally gave things a shot in the arm with the reveal of its new DualSense controller. It’s the most interesting announcement surrounding a next-gen console yet, and for Sony, in particular — which has barely updated its controller design in over two decades — the most exciting controller yet. The DualShock line of controllers has long been one of the constants of the video gaming world. The original PlayStation controller set the standard for modern controller design, and its successors — the 1997 Dual Analog Controllers and the rumble-equipped generations of... Continue reading…

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