posted about 1 hour ago on the verge
Image: Apple Apple is expanding which devices can use one of its previously M1-chip exclusive features in the fourth macOS Monterey beta. Live Text, the company’s new image scanning and text identifying feature, now runs on “all Mac computers that support macOS Monterey,” according to new documentation Apple released. As tech video creator Rene Ritchie notes, that should mean Intel-based Macs. One user claims to have gotten it to work on a Mac Pro from 2008. Live Text digitizes the text found in photos, allowing for smart features like making information like phone numbers and addresses searchable and interactive in Apple Photos and the Camera app. The new feature was one of several macOS Monterey highlights that Apple limited to its newer MacBook... Continue reading…

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posted about 1 hour ago on the verge
A screenshot from World of Warcraft. | Image: Activision Blizzard The World of Warcraft team has vowed to remove “references that are not appropriate for our world” in “the coming days” following California’s major sexual harassment and workplace discrimination lawsuit filed against World of Warcraft developer Activision Blizzard last week. The World of Warcraft team’s statement Tuesday didn’t specify what “references” they would remove. But it seems possible that NPCs and items named for former World of Warcraft senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi may be taken out of the game — although Afrasiabi seemingly left Blizzard in June 2020, his stamp on the game remains, as Kotaku reported Thursday. Afrasiabi was singled out in the lawsuit for his horrible behavior, which the Department of Fair... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Photo: Blizzard On Wednesday, Activision Blizzard employees will walk out of work to protest the company’s response to a giant sexual harassment and workplace discrimination lawsuit filed by the state of California. Now Blizzard, the studio at the center of many of those specific allegations, is giving the protest its blessing. Blizzard leadership emailed studio employees today to let them know they won’t face repercussions for attending — and in fact, that they can have paid time off for the duration. The Verge obtained a copy of the email, which we aren’t sharing here to avoid potentially identifying sources. After nearly 20 percent of Google walked out of work in 2018 to protest that company’s mishandling of sexual harassment revelations (among... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
TikTok has announced a slew of new live video features coming to the popular video app platform for both creators and viewers, including scheduled “events,” picture-in-picture support for iOS and Android, and group livestreams with two users. It’s part of the company’s increased efforts to push users to create and watch live videos. A lot of the new features bring TikTok’s live platform up to par with other live video services, adding the ability for creators to schedule a stream in advance (which TikTok calls a “Live Event”) that viewers can register and receive notifications for. Creators will also be able to add countdown timers to regular TikTok videos in the form of a sticker to help promote their upcoming streams, too. ... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Apple’s string of record-breaking earnings reports continued on Tuesday, with the company posting a strong fiscal third quarter that saw $81.43 billion in revenue. That’s a year-over-year increase of 36 percent and a new all-time record for the June quarter. It also crushes the $73 billion figure that analysts were expecting. Apple recorded a net quarterly profit of $21.7 billion. This quarter is traditionally one of the slower periods for iPhone sales, as consumer interest begins shifting toward the next lineup of devices that Apple is expected to announce in September. But sales were still impressively up — by 50 percent — compared to this time a year ago, reflecting continued momentum for Apple’s first 5G smartphones. Mobile carriers... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Former eBay security manager Philip Cooke has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in an intense stalking campaign against a pair of eBay critics. A Massachusetts judge issued the sentence nine months after Cooke pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. He’s the first of seven former eBay employees to be sentenced after the Justice Department revealed the scheme last year. In comments reported by Bloomberg, US District Judge Allison Burroughs called the case — which saw eBay employees harassing husband-and-wife publishing team Ina and David Steiner with a funeral wreath, live cockroaches, and a bloody-faced pig mask — “just nuts.” Cooke, a former police officer, admitted... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Last quarter, Google roared out of the post-pandemic-peak period with a record $17.9 billion in profit, finally joining other tech giants that had been raking it in despite (or perhaps because of) the rise of COVID-19. But Alphabet’s Q2 2021 earnings do it one better — the company just set an all-time record revenue of $61.9 billion this quarter, and set record profits for the third quarter in a row. Many of the numbers the company’s posting today (PDF) are nearly double those it reported a year ago. Google search appears to be the big driver, shooting up over $14 billion since this time last year to $35.8 billion total (that’s nearly $4 billion higher than it did last quarter as well). YouTube advertising revenue grew tremendously as... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Microsoft posted the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2021 financial results today, reporting revenue of $46.2 billion and a net income of $16.5 billion. Revenue is up 21 percent, and net income has increased by 47 percent. While cloud and Office services have boosted Microsoft’s revenues, it’s clear that the global chip shortage is taking its toll elsewhere. With the PC market experiencing its first big growth in 10 years earlier this year, there were some signs recently that laptop and PC sales could be starting to slow again amid a global chip shortage. Microsoft’s Windows results this quarter reflect that. Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge The Surface Pro 7 Plus has been on sale for six months now. Windows OEM... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Fast charging and elegant software offset a so-so camera Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter will be bringing on the team building Brief, an app that summarizes news, the company announced Tuesday. The Brief team, which consists of four people, will work on projects that support features like Spaces and Explore, a Twitter spokesperson tells The Verge. Twitter declined to share details on the terms of the deal, but the spokesperson said that Twitter isn’t buying the Brief business; this is more of an acquihire, as it’s only bringing in the team that worked on the app. The Brief app will be wound down on July 31st, and subscribers will see a notification starting Tuesday about the impending change. The Brief acquihire continues Twitter’s recent trend of acquisitions and talent pickups for news features. The company bought... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Twitter’s new banners informing users their account has been suspended or locked. | Image: Twitter Twitter is testing new notices that tell you if your account has been suspended or locked and has been put in read-only mode for violating Twitter’s rules. The notices, announced Tuesday, will show up as a banner at the top of your feed. They are in testing across a small percentage of Twitter users on iOS, Android, and the web, a Twitter spokesperson tells The Verge. The company is testing this feature after getting feedback from users that they realized they were suspended or locked and in read-only mode only after trying to tweet or follow new accounts, the Twitter spokesperson says. Knowing where your account stands is important. We’re testing a new way of letting you know — right when you log in. If your account is locked or... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Apple’s current tab design squashes tabs and the search window into a single row. Apple has started trickling out its fourth iOS and iPadOS 15 betas, taking additional steps back from the bold, and somewhat ill-advised reimagining of Safari it debuted at WWDC 2021. Now the “compact” tab experience in nu-Safari is entirely optional, and the more traditional separate row of tabs that were reintroduced in the third macOS Monterey beta are heading to iPads. Like in macOS Monterey (and every version of Apple’s desktop OS in recent history), tabs will once again live in their own separate row by default, alleviating some of the crowding that made Apple’s initial compact redesign annoying. The tab experience is now also controlled via a toggle in the Settings app, so if you’re committed to Apple’s original vision, you can... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations today that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks in public, indoor settings in areas with high rates of disease. The CDC also said that students, teachers, and staffers should wear masks in school, even if they’re vaccinated. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued similar recommendations for schools earlier this month. The announcements are a reversal of the agency’s May guidance that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks in most situations. At that point, cases counts were falling around the country. Now, the highly contagious Delta variant is spreading around the country and cases are surging in most areas, particularly... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
If you bought Resident Evil Village on PC but put off playing it due to horrible performance issues, you may be in luck. Over three months after the port’s release, Capcom has released an update to fix performance issues related to DRM and, according to Eurogamer, it appears to have resolved the larger performance issue, too. Before the patch, Eurogamer reports frame rates tanking from over 100fps to around 30fps in certain scenes, making the PC version of the game significantly worse to play than the console version. The update also includes support for AMD’s upscaling tech to help improve your frame rates even more, if you’ve got a supported graphics card. The problems, which may have been caused by DRM (though Capcom has not... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
T-Mobile crafted an underdog image for itself, but its recent moves have looked a lot more mainstream. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Lately, T-Mobile has been looking less and less like the Un-carrier it styled itself as in the past, and much more like A Carrier. To that end, the company made a couple of announcements today: a new 5G coverage milestone, and that CEO Mike Sievert will be delivering a CES keynote in a spot recently occupied by Verizon. The Consumer Technology Association and T-Mobile made the keynote announcement today, with (you guessed it) 5G as the topic of the hour. It’s been the topic of that particular keynote slot in a couple of recent years, with Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg whipping up the 5G hype machine and covering roughly the same talking points in 2019 and earlier this year. Sievert will take the microphone from Vestberg at the start of... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Instagram Reels can now be up to one minute long, double the previous 30-second time limit. Instagram initially debuted Reels with a brief 15-second time cap, then quickly doubled it just a month later. Reels is now nearly a year old, so it seems it’s time for an update again. Until recently, TikTok also capped videos at 60 seconds long, and it’s with that time constraint that the platform really blew up. So it’s probably wise that Instagram is expanding its short video limit to give creators a little more space to work with. TikTok’s longer limits were better for cooking videos, storytelling, and plenty more, and they still maintained the app’s quick-flipping pace of programming. TikTok recently expanded its limit to three minutes for... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
Land surface temperatures in Tokyo show that it’s an urban heat island. | NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Nearly unbearable heat and humidity have made competing at the Tokyo Olympics rough — but the urban sprawl of the city is making things even worse. An insidious phenomenon called the “urban heat island effect” shows up in stark temperature maps of the area put together by NASA. Because Tokyo is an urban heat island, it traps heat, making conditions worse for athletes and residents. The forecast is bad enough on its own. This could be the hottest Olympic games on record. Air temperatures have already hit 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) since the start of the games. Temperatures will dip a little bit today as a tropical storm rolls by — but once that passes, the mercury is expected to climb back up to sweltering temperatures... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images The sole copy of a Wu-Tang Clan record, forfeited by the infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, has been sold by the US government, according to a Justice Department press release published Tuesday. Shkreli is currently serving out a seven-year prison sentence issued in August 2017 for securities fraud by a Brooklyn, New York, federal court. As part of his sentencing, he was ordered to forfeit his copy of Once Upon a time in Shaolin, the sole copy of the record released by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang clan. Prosecutors did not release the name of the buyer or the selling price, citing a confidentiality provision in the contract. “With today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete.” The proceeds will... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge TikTok’s Text-to-Speech is both a great accessibility feature for people with visual and reading impairments and a tool to create enjoyable content. While Text-to-Speech is available on devices like tablets or phones via the operating system, it’s relatively forward-thinking for a social app like TikTok to make it available within the app. Other platforms like Twitter and Facebook don’t make use of this feature. Instagram does auto-caption stories but only if someone is already speaking in the video. The feature doesn’t come without controversy, however. TikTok changed the original voice after the actor filed a lawsuit claiming she had never agreed to be featured in the app. The new voice is less of a monotone than the original and... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
PAX West will now require attendees to prove they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 or received a negative test result before they’re allowed to enter the convention, organizers Penny Arcade and ReedPop announced on Monday. ReedPop set PAX West 2021’s September 3rd start date in 2020, and at the time, it wasn’t planning on requiring attendees to be vaccinated or prove they were COVID-19-free. The initial health and safety guidelines for the event instead focused on the face coverings, social distancing, and the cleaning protocols PAX West would feature when attendees congregated in Seattle. You don’t have to scroll very far through PAX’s Twitter replies to see how fans and potential attendees have responded to the convention’s gung-ho... Continue reading…

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posted about 9 hours ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Activison Blizzard employees are staging a walkout on Wednesday, July 28th in response to the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations brought by the state of California. Employees will meet outside Blizzard’s main campus in Irvine at 10AM PST. “We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the organizers said in a statement. The news comes after California sued the renowned gaming studio and its publisher, saying women were subjected to constant sexual harassment and discrimination at work. One female employee allegedly died by suicide after having nude photos of her passed around the office. Following the suit, numerous employees took to Twitter to... Continue reading…

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posted about 10 hours ago on the verge
Disney The adventure flick based on a ride has lofty and often entertaining aspirations Continue reading…

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posted about 10 hours ago on the verge
Google TV for Android shown on a mobile device. | Image: Google The Android app for Google TV is getting new discovery features and support for a handful of entertainment, news, and live TV apps not previously available, including YouTube TV and FuboTV. Google TV’s Android app will borrow some of the discovery tools from Google TV on the Chromecast, including more rows of personalized recommendations as well as the “watched” tool already available on the TV experience. To help improve recommendations, users can now head to the details page of a title and select “watched” if they’ve already seen a series or movie that the platform recommends to them. Additionally, the Android app will now display Rotten Tomatoes scores on show and movie posters, another useful feature carried over from the Chromecast... Continue reading…

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posted about 10 hours ago on the verge
Facebook is pausing worldwide sales of the Oculus Quest 2 while it upgrades the headset’s storage and replaces its foam facial covers with a new silicone design. Starting August 24th, all Quest 2 virtual reality headsets will come with a minimum of 128GB of storage instead of 64GB. They’ll ship with a silicone interface between your face and the headset instead of the old foam design. And all current Quest 2 owners can request a free silicone mask online to replace their foam one, thanks to a recall after some users reported skin irritation. Facebook Reality Labs head Andrew Bosworth announced the news in a blog post today. “As more people got into VR with Quest 2, we started receiving reports that a very small percentage of Quest 2... Continue reading…

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posted about 10 hours ago on the verge
Sony There’s a new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife that gives away more of the setting and plot than anything we’ve seen to date — and boy, does it look good. After a year of really weird Americana trailers more reminiscent of Man of Steel than Ghostbusters, it's nice to see what this movie will actually be about. While early trailers were full of epic music and wide vistas and whispers, this trailer actually has some ghosts! And Annie Potts! And the voice of Dan Aykroyd! This is the first trailer that actually makes the movie feel like a sequel rather than a weird and mopey kid-focused reboot. Crucially, besides the welcome cameos from the original Janine Melnitz and Ray Stantz, there are a lot of actual ghosts in this trailer for a... Continue reading…

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