posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Microsoft is testing out its new Skype mobile interface in a desktop preview of the company’s communication app. The new radical Skype mobile design debuted back in June, and the reception hasn’t been positive. Despite that, Microsoft wants to try out a new design on the desktop side. “It’s not yet complete and we need your feedback,” says a Skype spokesperson. The new Skype Preview is designed to take advantage of the larger screen space on a desktop PC, and Microsoft has tweaked group chats to make it easier to share photos or screen sharing during calls. There’s even the new @ mentions, message reactions, and a notification panel to check for mentions and reactions in conversations. If you’re looking for shared links, documents, or... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
The last time a total solar eclipse crossed the US coast to coast, there were only 6.2 million registered motor vehicles in the entire country, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Automobiles were still a relatively new fad in 1918, so when the Sun, Earth, and Moon found themselves in alignment that year, the chances of dying in an eclipse-related auto accident was statistically pretty low. That’s not so for this year’s total solar eclipse, which is set to occur on August 21st. This may explain why federal transportation officials are so alarmed: there were 263.6 million registered vehicles in the US in 2015, and probably a few million more today. More drivers during an eclipse means more chances for distraction,... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
About a month ago, my colleague Dan Seifert admitted on Twitter that he basically does not understand me as a person: i will never understand the fascination with watching other people play video games— me, an idiot (@dcseifert) July 18, 2017 Instead of lashing out in his mentions, I sat on that information until the other day, when I finally connected with Dan over Skype to hash it all out. Now you can enjoy our conversation in podcast form, thanks to the Verge Extras feed, which you should definitely subscribe to if you haven't already. For reference, here are a few of the Twitch streamers I mention in our conversation: Kripparian, Seagull, Bacon Donut, Giant Waffle, Bjergsen. Also, if you want to watch USA defeat New Zealand in... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
The Essential Phone is nearing shipment, and today company founder Andy Rubin published a blog post clearly meant to make customers feel confident with buying into a completely new and unproven electronics brand. He laid out Essential’s principles and pledges, which include providing the $700 phone with two years of Android software updates and three of security patches. That’s on par with Google’s plans for the Pixel line. Rubin makes no mention of how quickly those will come when a new Android version is released, however. Essential Phone owners can also expect new wireless accessories — the first of which is the 360-degree camera — “every few months.” So far, all we’ve seen are the camera and a docking station. “At Essential, we are... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Neon pink-and-green Joy-Con controllers are finally coming to North America — but you’ll have to head to Walmart to grab some. Today, Nintendo announced a new bundle for its Switch console, which comes packed with a digital copy of multiplayer paint shooter Splatoon 2, the bright new controllers, a carrying case, and the tablet-like console itself. The bundle will cost $379.99 and will be exclusive to Walmart when it’s available on September 8th. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to buy the controllers separately, at least for the time being. A colorful array of Splatoon 2 accessories has been available in Japan and Europe since the game launched, but for now they’re only available in bundle form for fans in the US and... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Bing.com, Microsoft's search engine, always features an image on its homepage. It changes every day. Today, Bing is displaying the gorgeous beach on Brač Island in Croatia. Seriously, this beach is dreamy: Bing Right? So nice. But developer Andrew Lyle noticed an odd shape carved into the white pebble sand. Lol there's a penis carved into the sand on https://t.co/QaCFpLgwDP homepage https://t.co/vdTVPn0NMO— /* Andrew Lyle */ (@lylesback2) August 17, 2017 Say what? Let's take a closer look. Bing Bing Bing Bing Bing Bing Yeah, that's definitely a penis. I'd like to thank Bing for giving us... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Apple is adding an easy way to quickly disable Touch ID in iOS 11. A new setting, designed to automate emergency services calls, lets iPhone users tap the power button quickly five times to call 911. This doesn’t automatically dial the emergency services by default, but it brings up the option to and also temporarily disables Touch ID until you enter a passcode. Twitter users discovered the new option in the iOS 11 public beta, and The Verge has verified it works as intended. Previously, if you wanted to temporarily disable Touch ID you’d need to restart an iPhone, wait for a few days when the device automatically prompts for the passcode, awkwardly use a different finger a few times to force it to lock out, or just disable Touch ID in... Continue reading…

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posted less than an hour ago on the verge
HBO’s last few weeks have been filled with hacks and leaks of scripts, episodes of shows like Game of Thrones, and personal information of the cast and crew. Now, it appears that hacker group OurMine took over the company’s social media accounts last night. The social media hack was first reported by Variety (which, coincidentally, was once the target of an OurMine hack itself). In a screenshot of the alleged breach, hackers tweeted from the official HBO account that they were “just testing your security.” BREAKING: Yet another hack problem for HBO tonight...this time to it's social media accounts https://t.co/oCRuBsqx1e pic.twitter.com/AM1g7dHL0E— Andrew Wallenstein (@awallenstein) August 17, 2017 OurMine has previously taken... Continue reading…

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posted about 1 hour ago on the verge
Smart mirrors are straight from science fiction. They’re part of an optimistic vision of the future that imagines a world where screens and data are everywhere, ready to feed you whatever information you need at a moment’s notice. But it turns out that building your own smart mirror isn’t just science fiction — it’s actually really easy to put one together. So don’t wait around for some random Kickstarter to get its act together and sell you a smart mirror. Here’s how to build one yourself. Supplies A Raspberry Pi 3, or an older Raspberry Pi with a Wi-Fi adapter. A monitor with HDMI-in. This will be the screen for the smart mirror, so whatever size you choose is how big your mirror will ultimately be. It should also power a USB device,... Continue reading…

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posted about 1 hour ago on the verge
The beautiful fantasy realm of Skyrim could soon adorn your walls. Today, game-focused art gallery Cook & Becker announced its latest series, which explores The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, with concept art featuring everything from elaborate elven temples to snowy mountain conflicts. It’s the gallery’s second collection as part of its partnership with publisher Bethesda; back in February Cook & Becker released a series of “museum grade” prints based on the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4. The prints vary in price quite a bit, depending on size and framing options, but you can check out the site to snag a piece for yourself. And if that’s not enough Skyrim, there’s still some life left in the six-year-old role-playing game. A virtual... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Sprint is now taking preorders for the Essential Phone, and it’s offering subscribers a pretty good perk to jump on it early: a discount of about $260. Naturally, Sprint being a phone carrier, all kinds of confusing terms and conditions apply here. Sprint is advertising the deal as “50 percent off the Essential Phone,” but that’s not true. What it’s actually doing is giving 50 percent off its standard payment plan, the “Sprint Flex 18-month lease.” It’s closer to a 30 percent discount in the end The catch is, at the end of that lease, you don’t actually own the phone. You’ll have only paid off $525 of the phone’s $700 price (though you’ll have paid half that, because of the discount). At that point, you’ll have the option of trading the... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Asus has revealed new phones from its Zenfone 4 line: the ZenFone 4, ZenFone Max, ZenFone 4 Max Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie, and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Whew, that’s a mouthful! The models and specs were leaked last week on the Taiwanese company’s French website. The ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Max feature rear dual cameras (which seem to be all the rage this year), while the Selfie models have front dual cameras, which capture photos with a 120-degree angle. The differences between the phones vary based on what you would prefer to use them for. The Selfie models were (obviously) made with taking photos of your face in mind, so the front camera has a huge 20MP or 24MP camera (regular and pro models, respectively). The Selfie Pro version can take 4K... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
There I was, sweaty and tired, having just scrambled my way up a dangerously steep rock face. As soon as I reached the top of the cliff I forgot about the trouble it took to get there: because, my god, that view. Lush green forest that seems to extend forever, dotted by crystal clear waterfalls and wondrous ancient ruins. Of course I took out my phone and snapped a picture. One of the new additions in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which launches next week on PS4, is that its treasure hunting lead character Chloe carries a smartphone everywhere she goes. On the surface, it’s not an especially huge feature. The phone doesn’t do much; Chloe receives texts every so often, but mostly she uses it to capture images of the exotic sights she comes... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Serious whiskey drinkers insist that it tastes better on the rocks — that is, diluted with a little water — and, with the help of computer simulations, scientists now know why. The distinctive taste of whiskey is largely caused by a molecule called guaiacol, which has one section that likes water and one section that doesn’t like water. In a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers simulated what happens to guaiacol when there are different concentrations of water, and which combination makes the molecule most potent. Of course, the liquid in the Jack Daniels bottle isn’t pure alcohol to begin with. By the time whiskey is in the bottle, it’s usually already about 40 percent alcohol, though this can vary. The... Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Intuitive design is safe design Continue reading…

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posted about 2 hours ago on the verge
Kickstarter is coming to Japan on September 13th. The company confirmed the date in an emailed announcement today and said interested creators should email [email protected] Although people from Japan could always back a project, or launch their own through a partnership with a US-based partner, they can now launch their own using a local Japanese bank account and a local form of identification. Kickstarter will be in Japanese, too. The launch was initially announced back in May. Obviously this move means we might be able to purchase the cute gadgets from Japan we've always wanted. I just hope the gadget makers over there are better at getting their projects shipped, as I know many US-based backers have been disappointed by... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Newton Mail, a multi-platform email app that’s been available on Mac, iOS, and Android, is finally reaching the last major platform it had yet to be offered on: Windows 10. Aside from, you know, being offered on Windows, there’s not much else new in the announcement. Newton Mail for Windows still offers the same suite of enhanced features as it does on other platforms, including read receipts, additional sender profile features, and the ability to automatically organize your emails. It’s compatible with the same slew of email providers, too: Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Office 365, and IMAP accounts will all work with Newton. The biggest caveat, though, is cost. Newton Mail may have grown out... Continue reading…

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posted about 3 hours ago on the verge
Some galaxies wander the cosmos, tentacles extending like hungry jellyfish — and now scientists have found active supermassive black holes at the center of six of them. Those unbelievably huge black holes are gobbling up lots of gas, and what keeps them well fed is the same mechanism that forms the jellyfish galaxies in the first place, according to new research. The discovery is surprising because most supermassive black holes around the Universe are dormant, sleeping giants that don’t devour much gas. So the findings, published yesterday in Nature, can help astronomers understand why certain black holes suck in lots of matter and some don’t. And because black holes and galaxies are interconnected, it can help us better understand how... Continue reading…

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posted about 4 hours ago on the verge
Do you find yourself mindlessly tapping away sometimes? How cool would it be if you could tap any physical object and produce different sounds? That’s the aim of a set of wearable rings named Specdrums (currently raising money on Kickstarter) which connect to your smartphone and let you make music by tapping the world around you. The rings can recognize different colors as different sounds, so work with pretty much anything you can touch — from your clothes to your furniture to the objects on your desk. The Specdrums app is compatible with both iOS and Android, and connects up to 10 rings at a time. Users can select the types of instrument the ring uses when tapped, and offers a range of choices including keyboards, synths, drum kits,... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
An anonymous in-house chatroom at Facebook that had become a “hub” for Donald Trump supporters was closed last year by the company after comments made on the forum disturbed management, according to several reports. The forum, called FB Anon, was shut down last December. Debate usually centered around conservative issues, but sometimes deteriorated into racist and sexist statements. The group had hundreds of members, and content posted there was talked about throughout the company, reports Business Insider. The forum was built in May 2015 as a place for employees to vent their frustrations and share sensitive information, away from managers. It gradually became a center for backers of Donald Trump as the election drew nearer, with many... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
Crackdown 3, the long-awaited open-world action game that was set to be released alongside the Xbox One X on November 7th, has been delayed until spring of next year. The decision leaves Microsoft without a major Xbox-exclusive title launching day-and-date with its turbo-charged 4K-capable console. Crackdown 3 was first announced more than three years ago at E3 2014. “We’re very excited about Crackdown 3, and so are many fans, and so it’s a difficult call to move the release date,” Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis tells Polygon. “However, we want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time.” Part of the extra time will be spent to improve the game's “visual polish,”... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
The V30, LG’s next flagship-class phone, is set for an official debut in two weeks’ time, but that’s not stopping it from making public appearances already. And that’s all to the good, because the phone looks to be a very attractive refinement of the LG G6 introduced earlier in the year. In a photo posted by Evan Blass today, the LG V30 shows off what look to be even thinner top and bottom bezels surrounding what’s already known to be a 6-inch OLED screen. Knowing its 2:1 aspect ratio and the dimensions of the existing G6, the shape of this new device suggests we’re going to get the most compact, refined, and dare I say elegant V-series device from LG yet. Honestly, the glinting metal sides and the minimalist front and rear have me a... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
A new lead provides the blueprint for Uncharted’s future Continue reading…

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posted about 12 hours ago on the verge
Much like politicians, tech company CEOs are nowadays expected to take a position on the big social issues facing their country, and Apple boss Tim Cook has been the latest to join the fray with an email sent to all global employees of the company on Wednesday night, which was obtained by Recode. In the email, Cook provides a strong response to the violence on display in Charlottesville over the weekend, and he goes on to make an unequivocal call about who was in the wrong. “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” writes Cook. Like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Cook doesn’t explicitly address... Continue reading…

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posted about 16 hours ago on the verge
Apple has disabled its payments system on websites that sell white supremacist and Nazi-themed merchandise, according to a report from BuzzFeed News. The move, which follows the violent white nationalist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend that left one counter-protestor dead, means three websites that peddle in “White Pride” t-shirts and accessories with Nazi logos can no longer process payments through Apple Pay. The websites, including AmericanVikings.com and VinlandClothing.com (the third site, called Behold Barbarity, has already gone offline), were found to be in violation of Apple’s “acceptable use guidelines.” Those rules prohibit use of Apple Pay in a way that promotes “hate, violence, or intolerance based on... Continue reading…

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