posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter it was looking into why the neural network it uses to generate photo previews apparently chooses to show white people’s faces more frequently than Black faces. Several Twitter users demonstrated the issue over the weekend, posting examples of posts that had a Black person’s face and a white person’s face. Twitter’s preview showed the white faces more often. Trying a horrible experiment...Which will the Twitter algorithm pick: Mitch McConnell or Barack Obama? pic.twitter.com/bR1GRyCkia— Tony “Abolish (Pol)ICE” Arcieri (@bascule) September 19, 2020 The informal testing began after a Twitter user tried to post about a problem he noticed in Zoom’s facial recognition, which was not showing the face of a Black colleague on... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Supreme Court 1 (Verge Stock) ActBlue, the FEC-certified Democratic fundraising site, says its fundraising following the Friday death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has topped $100 million. The tally broke ActBlue’s previous records for single-day donations, dollars raised in one hour, and dollars raised in one day, the organization said. Ginsburg died of cancer Friday at age 87. “Amid the devastating loss of Justice Ginsburg, it is inspiring to see people taking action to honor her legacy,” ActBlue executive director Erin Hill said in a statement. The surge of small-dollar donations began shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced Friday evening. Donors gave 1.5 million contributions for a total of $91.4 million between 8PM ET Friday and end-of-day... Continue reading…

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posted about 4 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge On Friday, it looked like the US was ready to ban new downloads of TikTok and WeChat, two popular China-based apps that the Trump administration warned posed security threats to American users. The Commerce Department issued an order that would have prohibited new downloads as of Sunday. And on Saturday WeChat in particular saw a sharp uptick in new installs in the US, according to analytics platform Sensor Tower, with an 800 percent week-over-week increase. But as of Sunday afternoon, each has received a reprieve from a US ban, at least temporarily. President Trump said Saturday he had given a deal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart his “blessing,” prompting a one-week delay from the Commerce Department on TikTok’s ban. And a judge in... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A judge in California has blocked the Commerce Department’s ban on new downloads of China-based messaging app WeChat, Reuters reported Sunday. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said in her order that WeChat users showed “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor.” On Friday, the Commerce Department outlined how the bans on WeChat and TikTok that President Trump had been threatening for months would work: Beginning today at midnight, US users would not be able to download the apps from Apple and Google’s app stores. A tentative agreement appeared to be reached Saturday for a new TikTok entity, TikTok Global, part of a partnership with Oracle and Walmart, so... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
I’m not sure about you, but one of the things that has been keeping many of us sane during these weird, not-so-wonderful times, is coffee and tea. Besides the caffeine energy lift (for those of us who take it with caffeine), the imbibing of hot liquids can be relaxing, while iced coffee or tea can be very refreshing. With that in mind, we’ve asked the staff of The Verge to tell us about their favorite coffee and tea brewers, grinders, and other paraphernalia. If you’re also an enthusiast, we hope you’ll enjoy looking over some of the gadgets that we enjoying using for our daily infusions. If you’re not, maybe this will give you some ideas of things to try. Photo: Bialetti Bialetti Express Moka Pot Bialetti... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images President Trump says he has approved “in concept” Oracle’s bid for TikTok, less than a day before a de facto ban he threatened in August was set to go into effect. “I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said to reporters outside the White House Saturday as he departed for a rally in North Carolina. “I approved the deal in concept.” On Friday, the Commerce Department issued an order to block transactions with both TikTok parent company ByteDance and WeChat, effective September 20th. The order is set to go into effect on November 12th for TikTok, effectively halting the app’s operations The details of the deal are still in flux, but the new company, called TikTok Global, would be based in the US and take over processing and storage for... Continue reading…

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posted about 24 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge TikTok and parent company ByteDance filed a lawsuit late Friday against the Trump administration to try to fend off a ban on new downloads of the app set to take effect Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported. TikTok says in the lawsuit that the Trump administration’s decision to ban new downloads of the app, announced Friday, violates free speech protections. The administration, which includes the Commerce Department, “took this extraordinary action of prohibiting a popular communication and information-sharing platform without affording its owners … due process of law, and for political reasons rather than because of any ‘unusual and extraordinary threat’ to the United States,” according to the suit. It’s not the first time TikTok... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Twenty-four winners of the Turing Award are endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election, The New York Times reported, explaining they’re concerned the Trump administration’s immigration policies could be detrimental to both computer research and the technology industry over the long term. “The most brilliant people in the world want to come here and be grad students, but now they are being discouraged from coming here, and many are going elsewhere,” David Patterson, a Google distinguished engineer and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley told the Times. Among the names on the endorsement are Vint Cerf, who co-designed TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the internet; Martin... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Messaging app WeChat had its biggest one-day download numbers in nearly two years on Friday, ahead of a ban on new downloads from the US Commerce Department expected to take effect tomorrow. Preliminary data from analytics platform Sensor Tower showed Chinese-based WeChat had 10,000 installs in the US Friday, a 150 percent increase from Thursday and a 233 percent week-over-week increase. That’s the largest number of WeChat installs in the US in one day since October 7th, 2019. Video platform TikTok, also facing a US ban, saw its downloads increase Friday as well, adding 247,000 new installs for a 12 percent increase from Thursday, according to Sensor Tower. TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, has been in talks with US... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Sony has apologized for PS5 preorders being a bit of a mess. “Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother,” says Sony from the official PlayStation Twitter account. “We truly apologize for that.” Preorders for the new PS5 console began on Wednesday, a day earlier than Sony had said retailers would take orders. It led to a scramble as Walmart and others started randomly opening up their PS5 preorder slots. Some preorders even disappeared after around a minute. Sony now says it will release more PS5 consoles for preorder “over the next few days,” promising that retailers will share more details. It’s not clear if these preorders will be delivered on launch day, and Sony is also promising “more PS5s will be available... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge In the ongoing Epic Games vs. Apple saga, Epic says in a new legal filing that Apple made incorrect statements in its own legal filing earlier this week, asserting that Apple “cherry picked” Google search results about the popularity of Epic’s Fortnite game. Apple had suggested that Epic started the legal fight over Fortnite in the App Store as a publicity stunt, and that Fortnite had already started to decline in popularity: “For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A judge in Nevada has dismissed a defamation case by a former Tesla employee, who claimed the company spread a false rumor about him after he admitted leaking internal company information to a reporter in 2018. Tesla argues in court documents that former employee Martin Tripp violated trade secrets and computer crimes laws when he told a Business Insider reporter that Tesla was wasting a significant amount of raw materials during production of its Model 3. Tesla identified Tripp as the source of the leaked information, which Tripp later confirmed. He was fired, and Tesla filed a lawsuit claiming he had “unlawfully hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk emailed Tesla staff telling them an... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro This week, I got to talk about vaccines and vaccine information with Natalie Dean, and The Verge’s Nicole Wetsman and Nilay Patel on The Vergecast. It was a great conversation with Dean, who is an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida and an expert in infectious disease epidemiology who has worked on designing vaccine trials. After the podcast, I got to ask something that had been on my mind: how did she — a person who works with scientific data every day — feel about the flood of early versions of scientific studies being posted online? And how much attention should the general public be paying to them? Before we get to her answer, let’s take a quick step back to talk about what these early studies are.... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Six people have been indicted by a grand jury in Washington state on charges they bribed Amazon employees to manipulate third-party seller listings on the e-commerce site, including listings for defective or dangerous products, authorities said. Starting in 2017, the people, including two former Amazon employees, paid more than $100,000 to have listings of products and accounts that Amazon had blocked or suspended from its Marketplace, which allows third-party sellers to promote and sell their products, the Department of Justice said. The former employees also provided internal Amazon information that allowed attacks on other third-party sellers and their accounts, including flooding the sellers’ product listings with fake negative... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Sony’s upcoming PS5 hardware has appeared at the FCC, providing us with the first close up photos of the next-gen console. The FCC has published a variety of images, showing the standard PS5 laying horizontally, the included cables, and the removable base that holds the console in both vertical and horizontal positions. The photos also show just how big the PS5 truly is. We learned earlier this week that the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, even topping the Xbox One VCR-like shape and Sony’s own PS3. Sony released official dimensions during its PS5 event this week, but they don’t include the “largest projection” or the optional base measurements. FCC PS5 laying... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Image: Apple Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23rd, giving customers in India a way to buy Apple products directly from the company for the first time. “We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” said Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people Deirdre O’Brien said in a statement. “We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time.” We know how important it is for our customers to stay in touch with those they love and the world around them. We can’t wait to... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Comcast and Roku have come to an agreement months after NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service launched. Peacock will be available to stream on Roku in the coming weeks. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Comcast that will bring Peacock to Roku customers and maintains access to NBCU’s TV Everywhere apps,” a Roku spokesperson said. “We look forward to offering these new options to consumers under an expanded, mutually beneficial relationship between our companies that includes adding NBC content to The Roku Channel and a meaningful partnership around advertising.” The decision comes after Comcast and Roku got into a public argument over the status of dozens of NBCUniversal apps. Comcast threatened to pull the apps as... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge One of iOS 14’s big new features is picture-in-picture mode, which lets you watch a video in a small window while you’re doing other things on your iPhone. That could be handy if you, say, wanted to watch a YouTube video in Safari while chatting with your friends or checking email. But unfortunately, it seems YouTube has done something to stop videos from continuing to play when PIP mode is activated — unless you pay for YouTube Premium, that is. See for yourself. Pull up a video on YouTube’s website in Safari on your iPhone and take it full screen. If you tap to pull up playback controls, you should see a picture-in-picture icon in the top-left corner of your screen. Tap that, and the video briefly goes into its own window before... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Procreate’s next big update, Procreate 5X, adds new filters and adjustments that’ll be really helpful for those who are trying to do more in Procreate and less in Photoshop. The update will be available starting September 21st. The new filters include halftone, gradient map, chromatic aberration, glitch effects, and more. The iPad illustration app has also added a reference companion window, allowing you to view your whole canvas or another image on the side while you work. While overall this feels less flashy than the Procreate 5 update (which added Animation Assist, a tool that adds a timeline to the app for looping GIFs and animated videos), it includes some great features that help to close the gap with Adobe’s more powerful desktop... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Image: Sony It seemed a little too good to be true the other night when Amazon successfully processed a bunch of PlayStation 5 preorders after other retailers dropped the ball spectacularly. And, well, maybe it was. Today, the company has sent out an email to many who preordered a PS5 — both the regular and Digital Edition consoles — advising that shipments might not arrive in time for the November 12th release date. “We’re contacting you about your order of PlayStation 5 to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand,” the email reads. “We’ll make every effort to get the item to you as soon as possible once released.” This is probably a situation where not even Amazon yet... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that individuals who don’t have coronavirus symptoms should get tested, reversing guidance that stirred controversy last month. The reversal follows a report published yesterday by The New York Times which revealed that the initial guidance was pushed by non-scientists in the Trump administration against the objections of public health officials and experts. The new guidance, issued on the CDC’s website on Friday, now clarifies that individuals should seek a COVID-19 test if they feel they’ve been in close contact with those who tested positive for the virus, regardless of whether they’re displaying symptoms. “Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge OnePlus released the OnePlus Buds, its $79 true wireless earbuds, back in July. While they have great battery and an affordable price, if you used them with a non-OnePlus phone, you weren’t able to manage some settings or get firmware updates. That should change in the future, though, as a OnePlus Buds app will be coming to other Android devices, according to a Q&A on OnePlus’ Chinese website (via 9to5Google). The Q&A doesn’t give a timeline as to when we can expect to see that app on other phones, and OnePlus didn’t reply to a question about when the app might be released more broadly. If you want, you can already check out the OnePlus Buds app on Google’s Play Store, but the app’s description says it can only be installed on OnePlus... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge If you’re an organization junkie and an iPhone user, then iOS 14 has provided you with a new tool: the App Library, which organizes your apps in labeled groups to make them easier to find. In fact, all your current apps can now be found there, and any apps you download in the future will be placed there as well. (You can decide whether you want the apps to also be visible on your home screen; we’ll tell you how later in this article.) This new feature can be very useful, especially if you tend to download a lot of apps. Automatic groupings The App Library appears as a separate page on your home screen. After you’ve updated to iOS 14, just keep swiping left; the App Library will be the last page you hit. It automatically organizes your... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077 will be released in a few months, but ahead of its mid-November launch, developer CD Projekt Red unveiled the system requirements needed to run the PC version of the game, and shockingly, you don’t need to upgrade your computer to play the game. The game’s recommended specs are not too heavy, requiring only an Intel Core i7-4790 or an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G processor, and either an Nvidia GTX 1060 or an AMD Radeon R9 Fury graphics card. So if you have not upgraded your rig in a bit, you’ll likely still be able to run the game at 1080p. However, if you are looking to run the game at 1440p or 4K resolution or take advantage of the game’s technical features like ray tracing, you will need to upgrade to an RTX 20-series or RTX... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge Amazon’s fall Alexa hardware event is scheduled for September 24th at 1PM ET. It’s not clear exactly what might be revealed at the event — an invite sent to The Verge only said that Amazon’s Devices and Services team would be sharing “some news.” An Amazon spokesperson specified that the event is invite-only, however, which suggests it won’t be live streamed for the public. It seems likely we’ll see new smart speakers and smart displays of some kind. At last year’s event, for example, Amazon launched the high-end Echo Studio speaker, the Echo Show 8 smart display, and a third-generation Echo speaker. But Amazon could also show off some more surprising hardware; the company revealed the Echo Frames glasses, which had Alexa built in, and... Continue reading…

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