posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Ikea's low-cost TRÅDFRI smart lights first announced in Europe last year, will soon get voice control for owners of Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa devices. Expect it to arrive this summer or autumn, says Ikea's Swedish press release first spotted by MacRumors. Ikea says it sees "huge potential" in smart home products, a category it first entered in 2015 with a series of furniture and accessories that had wireless charging for compatible smartphones baked right in. Ikea says it will expand its presence in the connected home with more launches in the coming years. Ikea’s TRÅDFRI low-cost devices could become a very disruptive force in smart homes. The company already helped to democratize design and lead the way in LED... Continue reading…

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posted about 1 hour ago on the verge
Buying apps related to an activity can often serve as a substitute for actually doing that activity. I've spent more time reading reviews of meditation apps, for example, than I've actually meditated. I buy grocery list apps as a substitute for ever actually going to the grocery store. I buy cookbook apps and then strenuously avoid cooking. For most of my smartphone-owning life, fitness apps have been no exception. There's almost always a good reason not to go to the gym, and simply installing a fitness app on your phone can comfort me, however falsely, that I am at heart an athlete. And then, six months ago, a surprising thing happened: I started using a fitness app four or five times a week, and it made a measurable difference in... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Two astronauts will conduct a contingency spacewalk this morning to carry out maintenance work on the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer will begin the spacewalk at 8AM ET on Tuesday, according to NASA. NASA will begin streaming the event at 6:30AM ET on its website. Whitson and Fischer are tasked with replacing a data relay box that failed on Saturday. The box is one of two units on the ISS that control solar arrays, radiators, cooling loops, and other hardware. While Whitson replaces the relay box, known as a a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM), Fischer will install two wireless communications antennas on the Destiny Lab. The spacewalk is expected to last for 2.5 hours. Today’s spacewalk will be... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
Apple and Nokia have settled an ongoing patent dispute and entered a new licensing agreement, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Under a business collaboration agreement, Nokia will provide network infrastructure services to Apple, while Apple will resume selling Nokia health products, which were previously sold under the Withings brand. Apple pulled Withings products from its online and retail stores in December 2016, days after Nokia sued the company for patent infringement. Details of the licensing agreement remain confidential, but Nokia said it will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, as well as additional revenues. The companies said in a joint press release that they are also “exploring future collaboration in... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Google’s AI AlphaGo has done it again: it’s defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one Go player, in the first game of a three-part match. AlphaGo shot to prominence a little over a year ago after beating Korean legend Lee Se-dol 4-1 in one of the most potent demonstrations of the power of artificial intelligence to date. And its defeat of Ke shows that it was only getting started. “I think everyone recognises that Ke Jie is the strongest human player,” 9th-dan professional and commentator Michael Redmond said before the match. And despite defeat, Ke’s strategy suggested that the 19-year-old Chinese prodigy has actually learned from AlphaGo’s often unorthodox approach. “This is Master’s move,” said Redmond of one of Ke’s earliest plays,... Continue reading…

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posted about 13 hours ago on the verge
Zack Snyder, who has acted as DC Comics’ directorial visionary on a number of its most ambitious film projects, is stepping down from Justice League due to a family tragedy. The news, announced in an interview published today by The Hollywood Reporter, means Snyder will be handing the reins over to Avengers director and writer Joss Whedon, who will ferry the project through its remaining post-production stage before its November 17th release later this year. Justice League is now in Joss Whedon’s hands Snyder, who’s daughter committed suicide in March at the age of 20, admits that he originally misjudged how the loss would affect his work. “In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if... Continue reading…

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posted about 13 hours ago on the verge
PayPal is not pleased with music streaming service Pandora, which last October debuted a new simplified logo with a design aesthetic similar to the digital payments company. In a lawsuit filed last week, PayPal lawyers went out of their way to paint Pandora as a struggling has-been tech company with a terrible business model and waning popularity, according to Gizmodo. The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, says Pandora “has no path to profitability” and “deserted its longstanding logo and latched itself on to the increasingly popular PayPal Logo as part of its efforts to catch up to its competition.” PayPal says Pandora “has no path to profitability.” This particular tech industry beef is so interesting because of the alarmingly... Continue reading…

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posted about 15 hours ago on the verge
Fidget spinners are the most important thing happening in our culture right now, so it's only natural that a free-to-play iOS game called Finger Spinner is at the top of the charts. To save you the trouble of downloading it and finding out: yes, it's bad. It's not just that it’s low quality; it's bad in a moral sense, too. A virtual fidget spinner is the top free app in the app store right now. pic.twitter.com/gZmQpc6ctm— Troy Osinoff (@yo) May 22, 2017 Here are the basics: there's a fidget spinner on the screen, and you swipe to spin it. But! You only get a few swipes, and then you watch the spinner (quickly) lose momentum. You get coins for however many spins you managed, and then you use those coins to upgrade your fidget... Continue reading…

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posted about 15 hours ago on the verge
The latest update for the Amazon Video app on Xbox One S enables 4K playback, giving Microsoft’s console another source of UHD content. Many of Amazon’s original shows — Sneaky Pete, Bosch, and The Grand Tour among them — are available to stream in 4K. Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu also offer at least some 4K programming on Xbox One S. Oddly, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro console doesn’t yet support Amazon Video in 4K; we’ve reached out to Amazon for details on when it might receive the same functionality. There are other ways of viewing Amazon’s 4K content, including apps for Roku, Nvidia’s Shield, and some smart TVs. But Microsoft touts Xbox One S as “the only console that lets you stream 4K video content and watch Ultra HD Blu-ray movies with... Continue reading…

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posted about 16 hours ago on the verge
Since 2015, a Chinese gaming website has been hacking Xbox accounts and selling the proceeds on the open market, according to a complaint filed by Microsoft in federal court on Friday. On its website, iGSKY presents itself as a gaming service company, offering players a way to pay for in-game credits and rare items — but according to Microsoft, many of those credits were coming from someone else’s wallet. The complaint alleges that the company made nearly $2 million in purchases through hacked accounts and their associated credit cards, using purchases as a way to launder the resulting cash. On the site, cheap in-game points are also available for the FIFA games, Forza Horizon 3, Grand Theft Auto V, and Pokémon Go, among others. “... Continue reading…

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posted about 16 hours ago on the verge
In what might be one of the biggest stories to come out of the Cannes Film Festival, Entertainment Weekly reports that Netflix has landed a project that will star Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o in a story based on a viral meme. The untitled film will be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma, the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time). Insecure creator Issa Rae is in talks to write the script. The concept originations from a photo of the two celebrities back in 2014 at the Miu Miu show during Paris Fashion Week. Soon after, the photo inspired comments on Tumblr that proposed a heist movie in which Rihanna and Nyong’o scam the rich out of their money: Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the... Continue reading…

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posted about 16 hours ago on the verge
Rockstar Games just announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 — the long-awaited sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption — has been delayed from the original fall 2017 release date to spring 2018. Rockstar apologized for delay in a statement on its website explaining that “some extra time is necessary to ensure that we can deliver the best experience possible for our fans.” To make up for the delay, the company also released a new batch of screenshots from Red Dead Redemption 2, which should at least help tide fans over. Along with the announcement of the delay, Rockstar promised that fans would get more information about Red Dead Redemption 2 this summer — and with E3 right around the corner, it’s likely that information will be... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
Welcome to Twin Peaks Top 3, where I look at last night’s episode(s) of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival and draw bad fan art of the top three most baffling moments that made an impression on me. If you’re looking for actual analysis and fan theories, we’ve got a big Question Club conversation for you to read instead, because you won’t find any of that here. Twin Peaks has always been a polarizing show, making even fans like myself question their loyalty at times. At the end of each Top 3, I’ll ask myself a question: “Do I want to keep watching?” Let’s find out. This Top 3 will cover the show’s two-episode premiere, so spoilers ahead! Baffling moment #1: when your evil doppelgänger squanders his potential It’s been 25 years since Agent... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
On May 21st, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks returned to television, nearly 27 years after the end of its second season. About the only predictable thing about the revived show was that it was wildly unpredictable. Right at the top, audiences learned that FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is still trapped in the mysterious Black Lodge, and that his doppelgänger — a snakeskin-wearing thug inhabited by the evil spirit Bob — is loose in the world, creating havoc and mischief. But everything from that moment onward was some sort of surprise, with aged-but-familiar faces appearing alongside new characters and settings. The first four episodes — two were broadcast, while Showtime made episodes three and four available online — weren’t a nostalgic... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland has signed on to star in the upcoming Uncharted film, playing the role of young Nathan Drake. Deadline reports that the role is based on a sequence in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, turning the film into a prequel to the game series as opposed to the straightforward adaptation that was originally planned. The Uncharted film will focus on Drake’s youth and his pivotal meeting with treasure-hunting businessman Victor “Sully” Sullivan, who serves as Drake’s mentor and father figure in the games. The change comes from Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman, who came away so impressed after seeing Holland in Homecoming that he saw fit to change the scope of the film. ‘Uncharted’ has been in development... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
YouTube TV, Google’s over-the-top streaming service, just got an update for its iOS application that adds support for Apple’s AirPlay functionality. When it launched a few weeks ago, YouTube TV didn’t offer any apps for set-top boxes, meaning that the only way to get YouTube TV content on a television was through Google’s Chromecast. The addition of AirPlay support means that, in lieu of a native Apple TV app, that there’s at least an option now to use the streaming service with Apple’s hardware. The YouTube TV update adding AirPlay is available now on the App Store. Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
Silicon Valley is Mike Judge and Alec Berg’s biting comedy about the American tech industry, now in its fourth season. Every week, we’ll be taking one idea, scene, or joke and explain how it ties to the real Silicon Valley and speaks to an issue at the heart of the industry and its everlasting goal to change the world — and make boatloads of money in the process. Spoilers ahead for the fifth episode of season 4, “The Blood Boy.” Silicon Valley’s biggest strength is also its most persistent weakness: the real place, located in the drab suburbs just 35 miles south of San Francisco, is itself stranger than fiction. So when the HBO comedy attempts to tackle some of the tech industry’s most outlandish and perplexing happenings, the joke... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Our spinal column is different from that of apes because — yes, you guessed that right — we walk upright on two feet. But when did our distinctive back structure first evolve? The skeleton of an early human ancestor found in Africa shows that some features were already established at least 3.3 million years ago, earlier than previously thought. The fossil was found to have only 12 rib-bearing vertebrae, the same number as modern humans — and one fewer than most apes. That feature had previously been observed in early humans dated to only 60,000 years ago or later. The findings, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that the general structure of our spinal column was already emerging 3.3... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Lengthy stays on board the International Space Station don’t seem to hurt sperm fertility. In a new study, mice on Earth successfully gave birth to litters of pups after being fertilized with sperm that had been freeze-dried for nearly a year on the ISS. It’s potentially good news if, one day, animals and people will have to reproduce beyond Earth. But experts say there is still a lot more research that needs to be done to fully understand how the space environment affects reproduction. The point of this study, published today in the journal PNAS, was to see if the sperm experienced extensive DNA damage while in orbit around Earth. On the ISS, people receive between 10 to 100 times more radiation than they do on our planet, and the parts... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
The Supreme Court has dealt a significant blow to “patent trolls” that often sue and squeeze a quick payday out of major technology companies using patents that they’ve bought up for that exact purpose. Today, the court unanimously ruled that a defendant should only face patent litigation in the state where it’s incorporated. For Apple, that would be California. For a ton of other US companies, it’s the state of Delaware. The move is expected to dramatically reduce the number of cases filed with federal courts in eastern Texas, which have frequently sided with patent holders in quick trials involving multi-million-dollar judgements. Nearly 45 percent of all patent infringement cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas in 2015.... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Universal Pictures is bringing its roster of classic movie monsters back to the forefront with its newly named Dark Universe series — the long-promised web of films kicking off with The Mummy this summer. The next film in the series to hit theaters will be Bride of Frankenstein on Feb. 14, 2019. Universe has ditched its previous plans to release a Dark Universe movie in 2018 and will instead focus on the 2019 Bride of Frankenstein, which will be directed by Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon. There are no details on who will play the titular role, though Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley called the movie a story about “a very modern woman in a very classic tale.” As for other characters in the cinematic universe, Johnny Depp and... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
A sports-free TV package may be coming to an over-the-top streaming service this year, according to a new report from Variety. Viacom, the owner of Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, is in advanced discussions with a streaming service to become part of an entertainment-only bundle that could cost less than $20 a month, CEO Bob Bakish said at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media, and Telecom conference. AMC and Discovery are also in on the talks, according to a report from Bloomberg last month. The deal, which would cut out high-fee channels like ESPN and drop broadcast channels ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, would dramatically reduce the end cost for consumers, and could be priced between $10 and $20 according to Bakish. Variety noted that Bakish... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Nest is apparently just a week or so away from introducing the next generation of its home security camera. According to Android Police, the new Nest Cam will be an indoor camera capable of recording footage in 4K. But there’s a twist: rather than saving and streaming the footage in 4K, Nest will use the extra resolution to provide a better zoom function for the camera. That way, if the camera spots something moving, it’ll be able to crop down to 1080p to provide a zoomed-in look that’s still in HD. Nest might put more resolution where it matters It sounds like a smart approach for the new camera, especially since so few people have devices right now that are capable of streaming 4K (on top of that, 4K would mean huge video files that’d... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
To Ford Motor Company, it must have felt like salt on a hemorrhaging wound. Last month, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker. Never mind that Ford saw record profits last year and that Tesla manufactures a fraction of the vehicles that Ford makes. The plucky upstart automaker headed up by Elon Musk, a dedicated visionary often compared to Ford’s own founder, Henry Ford, was winning the stock market. For years, the general public had been besotted by Tesla and its gauzy promises. As a journalist who has covered the car industry for over a decade, the first brand people ask me about is almost always Tesla. Sure, there are legitimate criticisms on the viability of Tesla’s business plan and whether it can deliver the Model 3.... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Jeff Bezos has taken some business inspiration from George Bluth Sr. on Arrested Development. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon has installed two banana stands at its Seattle headquarters. In two years, the stands have given more than 1.7 million free bananas to staffers — altering local banana sales in the process. The Journal reports that Amazon opened the first Community Banana Stand in late 2015 as a public service. Bananas were seen a healthy, fully compostable, and affordable snack for employees and locals. Who doesn’t want to be a “banista?” To support this operation, the stands have so-called “banistas” and “bananagers” (really!) to keep up the stock of the slightly radioactive fruit and keep track of how many are... Continue reading…

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