posted less than an hour ago on the verge
I confess to being an earplug obsessive. I have a favorite brand (Howard Leight Laser Lites) and I buy my ‘plugs in bulk, scattering them like candy in bags, drawers, and pockets for easy-access silence. It’s an affordable luxury I recommend to anyone. But my earplugs are disposable, and I like the idea of getting something a bit more durable and functional. Enter the dBud. These are a pair of adjustable ear plugs currently raising funds (and fully funded) on Kickstarter. They have a built in slider that lets you switch between “open” and “closed” positions, reducing noise intake by 15 decibels or 30 dB. Their creators, Swedish company EarLab, promise that a built-in “acoustic filter” (basically a fabric mesh — there are no electronics... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
The US Department of Homeland Security has launched an internal investigation into an attempt from one of its agencies to unmask the identities of people behind an anti-Trump Twitter account. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the investigation was confirmed in a letter from DHS Homeland Inspector General John Roth to Senator Ron Wyden. The investigation stems from a March 14th summons sent by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to Twitter. The summons requested information that could have been used to identify the operator(s) of @alt_USCIS, a “rogue” Twitter account that purported to reflect the views of a dissenting Citizenship and Immigration Services employee. Several rogue Twitter accounts sprang up following this year’s... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Three-dimensional audio — otherwise known as binaural audio — is all about recording sound as close as possible to the way your ears hear it. Usually that means using big recording rigs configured to look like a human head, but Sennheiser wants to make the process simpler. Earlier this year at CES, it unveiled its Ambeo Smart Surround earbuds, which come with embedded microphones capable of recording 3D audio. The Smart Surrounds were announced as iPhone-only, but now the company is planning to bring them to Android. Sennheiser CEO Andreas Sennheiser (it’s a family-owned business) announced the news at the IFA Global Press Conference in Portugal. Sennheiser told The Korea Herald: “We are working with Samsung on the Ambeo smart headset... Continue reading…

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posted about 4 hours ago on the verge
When the original Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters three years ago, I was skeptical. A director as idiosyncratic as James Gunn seemed a strange fit for Marvel at the time, and taking a largely Earth-tethered superhero universe all the way into outer space seemed like a risky proposition. I remember telling a friend that it felt like like a make-or-break moment: Marvel was either going to prove it could expand beyond the well-known heroes that had come before, paving the way for subsequent phases of its cinematic universe, or Guardians of the Galaxy would fall flat. By the time Chris Pratt finished dancing through Guardians’ opening credits, I was in love, and the first installment turned out to be one of my favorite films the studio... Continue reading…

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posted about 14 hours ago on the verge
The NES Classic is officially discontinued, and Nintendo has said that the final shipments of the mini-console are reaching stores this month. But April is nearing its end, and thus so are your chances of getting the Classic — even if there’s no good reason for this thing to be going away in the first place. Best Buy has announced that the NES Classic Edition will be available at its stores (not online) at start of business tomorrow. Some locations will be doing a ticketing process before doors open; that’s the case at several New York stores I’ve called. A Best Buy spokesperson said that the NES Classic will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the company has a policy of not commenting on inventory, so it’s impossible... Continue reading…

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posted about 16 hours ago on the verge
Earlier this week, I left work a bit early, caught a bus, and headed to the grocery store to grab some diapers and milk. It was typical, mundane evening, something I’d experienced many times before. But it didn’t feel that mundane — my normal life seemed a lot more stylish while listening to the Persona 5 soundtrack. Persona 5 is a sprawling, all-consuming role-playing game that has a particular and distinct focus on the day-to-day moments of young adult life. The game itself is divided into sequential days, and you’ll spend as much time simulating the life of a typical teenager as you will fighting off demons in an alternate psychic dimension. You might start off a day reading a novel on the train to school before spending the evening... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
A few months back, Elago released its W3 Apple Watch stand, which took advantage of the wearable’s Nightstand mode to serve as a clever bedside stand to charge your watch while simultaneously making it look like the world’s most adorable original Macintosh. Now, the company is hoping to strike Lightning twice with a similarly retro styled iPhone stand, the M4. But somehow, it feels like the M4 fails at everything that made the original W3 great. First off is design — while both the W3 and M4 share a similar beige Macintosh aesthetic, the W3, by virtual of the square screen on the Apple Watch, actually resembles the original product. In contrast, the M4 iPhone stand offers a stretched-out funhouse mirror version of the classic computer. ... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Modern political dramas tend to be stressful. Consider how even the most bureaucratic scenes in House of Cards or Game of Thrones are emotionally taut — simply because their writers have establish that any character can be bludgeoned to death at a moment's notice. The model builds tension around the threat of violence or chaos. ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department is the opposite. The political drama is less interested in tension than it is in food. The show, available now on CrunchyRoll, is about Jean Otus, an inspector for the civilian governmental organization ACCA. Ostensibly each episode has him visiting one of ACCA’s branch offices in one of the thirteen different districts that compose the Kingdom of Dowa. However the council... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to have Uber’s iPhone app removed from the App Store in 2015, when it learned that the ride-sharing company had secretly found a way to identify individual iPhones, even once the app was deleted from the phone, according to The New York Times. The article is a wide-ranging profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, describing him as a leader who is willing to break and bend rules to get his way, even if it means running afoul of one of the world’s largest tech firms. The attitude has led to Uber’s rapid rise, but has caused the company to run into numerous crises. The article describes how Uber faced problems with account fraud while it was trying to expand into China, and devised a way to identify an individual... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Today is World Book Day, an annual observance designated by UNESCO to celebrate all things reading, from books themselves, to authors, illustrators, and bookstores. To mark the occasion, we wanted to see what the larger group of Verge staffers have on their night stands, in their bags, on their Kindles or phones, and on their “currently reading” list. Here’s what we’re currently reading: Tasha Robinson: I used to be one of those people who read one book at a time, period, often in one or two sittings. Then the internet and Netflix happened, and I started working culture-writing jobs where I was usually working on 10 projects at once, and my attention span disappeared. I really regret that. But it does set me up nicely for books like M... Continue reading…

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posted about 20 hours ago on the verge
The car industry is in a delirious moment of change. Industry experts say more changes will happened in the next five years than have happened in the last fifty. As self-driving technology and ride-hailing companies circle, change is not only part of the pursuit of profit, but a matter of survival. But knowing when and how to double down on investment into new strategy is a tricky game. Despite the growing numbers of car companies manufacturing electric vehicles, consumers are still not lining up to buy EVs and broad support of self-driving car technology faces regulatory hurdles. But what’s stayed consistent across the industry is the lucrative future in an emerging car market: selling cars in China. Last week, at the New York... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
In recent years, the reputation of horror author H.P. Lovecraft has come under fire. On one hand, he’s responsible for an entire branch of cosmic horror that remains extraordinarily influential with writers and filmmakers today. On the other hand, he was emphatically, vocally racist and anti-Semitic, which has given some contemporary fans pause when honoring his legacy. Ruthanna Emrys found a different way to draw on Lovecraft’s legacy: in her debut novel, Winter Tide, she makes humans the real monsters. In 2014, Emrys introduced Aphra Marsh in her Tor.com novelette The Litany of Earth. It’s helpful to read before Winter Tide; it provides a bit of context for the world, and for Aphra’s situation. It’s free online, and included in the... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Scientists aren’t usually known for taking to the streets, but that’s just what they did in New York yesterday as part of the March for Science. It was one of more than 600 rallies yesterday for scientists and their supporters. Donald Trump has threatened many federal agencies that fund scientific research with budget cuts; more than 10 percent of the science budget is scheduled to be slashed in 2018. (The EPA is slated to lose nearly a third of its funding under the proposal.) His cabinet is packed with Pruitt and his ilk, a group who do not seem particularly interested in scientific expertise. The hostility to scientific consensus isn’t limited to the executive branch, either; House Republicans held a fake inquiry on climate change in... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Birds look mean, you can’t pet them, and they shit on you. Maybe I loathe them because I’ve lived in cities my whole life, and my few interactions with birds consist of the following: pigeons (aka rats with wings) clogging the pavement and flying in your face seagulls pooping on my head (seagulls take massive dumps, in case you didn’t know) cute birds that chirp too damn loud in the morning when I’m trying to sleep I also find birds scary. There’s something ominous about those beaks and claws — a reminder that the animals are living dinosaurs that would rule over all of us if it weren’t for their relatively small size. Birds are my least favorite animals. So I was pleased to stumble upon this snarky Tumblr by a fellow bird hater: Field... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Great Britain has gone an entire day without using electricity produced from coal for the first time since the industrial revolution says National Grid, the country’s energy utility. The country has gone without coal-produced power numerous times before, but never for an entire day. Instead, the country used power produced from natural gas (50.3 percent), nuclear (21.2 percent), wind (12.2 percent), imports from other countries (8.3 percent), biomass (6.7 percent), and solar (3.6 percent) to power the country on April 21st. The numbers provided by National Grid don’t total to 100 percent because of power exports to other countries and hydro production. National Grid can confirm that for the past 24 hours, it has supplied GB's... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Just inside the entrance to the Washington Monument, a handful of people hold black and white signs bearing the words ADA assistance. As one one man walks by, he briefly pauses to consider their message. “Americans with Disabilities Act, or Ada Lovelace?” he says. “She was a great mathematician.” It’s just shy of 9AM in Washington D.C., where thousands of scientists, researchers, academics, doctors, students, and concerned citizens are gathering on the damp grass surrounding the landmark. They’ve come from New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, New Mexico, and across the U.S. to show their support for science. Scientists have been planning a March on Washington since late January, shortly after Donald Trump took office. Scientists and their... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Deadpool 2 will officially be a summer blockbuster. The Hollywood Reporter reports that 20th Century Fox has scheduled the David Leitch film for June 1st, 2018. It’s also announced release dates for two other X-Men universe films: New Mutants will hit theaters on April 13th, while X-Men: Dark Phoenix is slated for November 2nd. While Fox was one of the early studios to recognize the potential in an extended superhero franchise, it’s since been eclipsed by the likes of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC’s Extended Universe. Despite falling behind, the three releases show that Fox is still in the game when it comes to comic book adaptations. But, while the studio has had some incredible successes with the likes of 2016’s Deadpool... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Now that the Samsung Galaxy S8 is starting to arrive in customers’ hands, we’re also starting to see tons of durability tests and teardown videos on YouTube. Some viewers might notice from a few videos that there is a peculiar icon on the Galaxy S8 battery that depicts a dog with a bar across it. So what’s up with this anti-dog label? Let us explain. Does Samsung hate dogs? What’s this sticker supposed to mean? Imgur Quite the opposite, really! The S8 battery is not removable for general consumers, but if you were to disassemble the phone, Samsung wants you to know that the battery should not be left around as chew toys for pets as batteries are toxic to them. An ingested battery can cause burns, irritation, loss of... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are gorgeous phones, so it’s a shame that you’re probably going to want to use a case to keep your expensive device intact. Imagine that massive display with a crack, though. I scoured the internet today in an effort to find the cutest cases for the Samsung S8 because while you have to add bulk to the phone, you also deserve to have a stylish device. Seriously, I clicked through more than 50 pages of Amazon cases to compile the cutest and most fashionable available. You’ll see them below. Honestly, there are way more glitter cases than I could list on this page, so go look for those because you’ll likely be able to find a color that suits you. Also, I haven’t tested any of these cases; I’m solely... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Neil Young’s high-fidelity audio project Pono is undergoing a new change. In a post to Pono’s Community site, the singer informed users that after the company shut down its music store last summer, it will become a high-quality streaming audio service. The new service will be called Xstream, and comes after Pono has struggled to relaunch its music store after its supplier shut down last year, and to find an audience willing to pay a premium for its audio files. Young described Xstream as an “adaptive streaming service that changes with available bandwidth.” Unlike all other streaming services that are limited to playing at a single low or moderate resolution, Xstream plays at the highest quality your network condition allows at that... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Auto show season marches on. The end of the New York International Auto Show signals the beginning of Auto Shanghai 2017, and this year there was no shortage of gorgeous cars with interesting designs and bizarre-looking technology. Let’s take a look at some of the major reveals from the show. Renault R.S. 2027 At first blush, the Renault R.S. 2027 is an elegant concept racecar packed with LED lights. But for a concept, it’s actually pretty timid. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your point of view. On one hand, the ideas Renault is suggesting with the car (four wheel drive, better fuel efficiency, increased fan engagement) are a more practical take on the next 10 years of Formula One. But on the other, why... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Earlier this year, I was surprised to learn just how many details of 20th Century Women came from writer/director Mike Mills' own life. It's always fascinating when films intersect with the real world in ways that color our view of them. But the one that really messes with my understanding of the picture is White Girl, which is based on writer/director Elizabeth Wood's own experiences. The film is already a complicated, messy exploration of privilege. And the added nuance that some of its events are based on reality only makes the situation even messier. How do you read a film about white privilege that so clearly emerged from the privileges it's exploring? How do you understand its treatment of a character based on the person who made... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Tax Day means one thing to me: a little extra money to spend. If you're one of the lucky adults that filed your taxes on time — and happen to have gotten a refund back — we have some great deals for you to check out. I’m most excited about Pad & Quill’s Seventh Anniversary Sale which is running now through April 28th. They usually only have sales around the holidays for a short time, so now is a great time to get some of their best-selling products including leather iPad cases and Apple Watch bands. If you weren’t able to pick up their Attaché bag from our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, this Laptop Briefcase is an excellent choice. Notable deals ending soon Ending April 25th: Amazon’s Echo Dot sale we featured last week is still around for... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
After years of delays, James Cameron’s ever-growing series of sequels to 2009’s science fiction film Avatar finally have release dates. This morning, the franchise’s official Facebook page announced that the first film will arrive in theaters in 2020, with the rest being released between 2021 and 2025. The first untitled sequel will hit theaters on December 18th, 2020, while the rest will be released on December 17th, 2021, December 20th, 2024, and December 19th, 2025. With the post (appropriately timed for Earth Day), 20th Century Fox also announced that production on the four films is officially underway, with Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang returning to reprise their roles. Great to be working with... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Today is Earth Day, an occasion used to highlight environmental awareness and the state of our planet’s health. Climate change has become a major focus in recent decades, and while 120 nations across the world ratified the Paris Agreement a year ago, significant challenges remain in the years and decades to come. Which is to say that to think about climate science is to think seriously and passionately about the future. Of course one group that keeps a close eye on what the future might hold for civilization are science fiction authors. For decades, they have used the idea of a changing climate in their stories, extrapolating the latest scientific evidence into tale of how humanity is coping (or not) with rising sea levels and... Continue reading…

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