posted about 14 hours ago on the verge
Amazon’s 2018 update to the Paperwhite turned it into the best Kindle for most people, and today only, the company is offering $40 off the new, waterproof model, marking the lowest price we’ve seen on it yet. The lowest price yet on the new Paperwhite There have been other sales on the new Paperwhite before, but today’s deal — which starts at $89.99 for the cheapest, 8GB model with Wi-Fi and Amazon’s advertisements — is the cheapest yet. All the models of the new Paperwhite are on sale, although options like the upgraded 32GB storage, cellular connectivity, and removing Amazon’s “Special Offers” ads will obviously bump that price up. But no matter which model you’re interested, it’s hard to turn down a straight $40 off the usual price... Continue reading…

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posted about 15 hours ago on the verge
Fox News has barred a TV monitoring service from recording its broadcasts and allowing customers to search for and play back relevant segments. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the monitoring service TVEyes reached a settlement with Fox after a five-year-long legal battle requiring it to permanently stop distributing the network’s shows. TVEyes hasn’t been distributing Fox since March, after receiving an injunction. TVEyes may not be well known, but it and similar companies perform an important service: allowing journalists to keep tabs on the dozens of hours of content broadcast on news channels each day. That’s particularly important when it comes to Fox News — a channel known for scare tactics, slanted coverage, and being watched... Continue reading…

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posted about 17 hours ago on the verge
France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, has issued Google a €50 million fine (around $56.8 million USD) for failing to comply with its GDPR obligations. This is the biggest GDPR fine yet to be issued by a European regulator and the first time one of the tech giants has been found to fall foul of the tough new regulations that came into force in May last year. CNIL said that the fine was issued because Google failed to provide enough information to users about its data consent policies and didn’t give them enough control over how their information is used. According to the regulator, these violations are yet to have been rectified by the search giant. Under GDPR, companies are required to gain the user’s “genuine consent” before... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
WhatsApp will now limit users to forwarding a message only five times, in an attempt to cut down on the spread of misinformation. According to Reuters, the five time forwarding limit is being implemented across the world starting today. While fake stories and deceitful groups on Facebook have been the focus in the US, misinformation on WhatsApp has become a problem elsewhere in the world. In Brazil, it became a particularly big issue ahead of the country’s presidential elections in October, as bad voting information, conspiracy theories, and false stories about candidates spread across the network. One study of the most widely shared images in Brazilian political group chats found that more than half of the top 50 images were misleading,... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
Abode, not to be confused with Adobe, is today taking the wraps off its new second generation smart home gateway. The Gen 2 device acts as a central hub between all your Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and abodeRF devices, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, ecobee, LifX, Philips Hue, and IFTTT. Moreover, it will “soon” support HomeKit and Siri which is an out-of-the-box rarity for these do-it-all gateways. On paper then, this is the smart home hub you’d buy if you’re trying to remain as flexible as possible without ecosystem lock-in. HomeKit integration will be delivered via a future firmware update to both Gen 1 and Gen 2 gateways. ”On the HomeKit front, Abode is 100 percent committed to bringing that functionality to... Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
A story from Better Worlds, our science fiction project about hope Continue reading…

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posted about 18 hours ago on the verge
John Scalzi is a familiar name to most science fiction readers. He’s best known for his long-running blog Whatever as well as books like Old Man’s War, Redshirts, The Collapsing Empire, and, most recently, The Consuming Fire. In “A Model Dog,” Scalzi looks at what first appears to be one tech billionaire’s frivolous project that turns into a heartbreaking effort to preserve the memory of a cherished family pet. The Verge spoke with Scalzi about his story, the implications of big data, and remembering our favorite pets. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. What was your initial inspiration for the story? Well, I think part of it is that I was thinking about the whole concept of machine learning and the idea that AI is... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
The drone manufacturer DJI has discovered millions of dollars worth of fraud committed by its employees, the company has announced (via Bloomberg). The company has said it expects the losses from the fraud to amount to around 1 billion yuan (around $150 million USD) and that “a number” of its employees have been fired over the discovery. The Financial Times reports that this number could be as high as 29 employees. In a statement sent to Engadget, the company said that some of its 14,000 employees had been inflating the cost of parts and materials for financial gain. In response, along with dismissing a number of employees, DJI said that it has alerted law enforcement, and has also set up new internal channels for whistleblowers to... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
GoFundMe has set up a campaign to help federal workers affected by the longest government shutdown in US history, and it’s raised over $90,000 from over 1,000 people in just two days. The fund, which was announced by GoFundMe’s CEO Rob Solomon, was started with an initial donation of $10,000 from New Age guru Deepak Chopra, which was then matched with a donation from GoFundMe itself. Donations towards the fundraiser will be distributed to a number of different nonprofit organisations working to help the approximately 800,000 workers affected by the shutdown. The World Central Kitchen in Washington DC, which is currently providing free meals to federal workers, is one such organization, and the National Diaper Bank Network is another. T... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Amazon has more than 100,000 robots in its warehouses, and so, naturally, needs to ensure that the machines play nice with human employees. The company’s latest solution to keep robo-human relations ticking over smoothly is what it calls the “Robotic Tech Vest” — a bit of kit that warehouse workers can wear to make them visible to nearby machines. As reported by TechCrunch, the Robotic Tech Vest (really more of a belt-and-suspenders combo, judging by the picture above) is a neat upgrade to existing safety systems. Usually, Amazon’s robots tote shelves of goods around in a cordoned-off area where they can’t run into employees. If a robot breaks down or drops any items a human has to enter that area to put things right. “In the past,... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
A recent registration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation may have just given us our first look at Lenovo’s Motorola RAZR remake with a folding display. The design, which was filed on December 17th 2018 and first spotted by 91Mobiles, appears to show a device with a folding screen on the inside, alongside a second smaller screen on the outside. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Motorola is intending to relaunch the RAZR as a $1,500 foldable screen smartphone next month. Although the RAZR name does not appear anywhere on Motorola Mobility’s registration, the design bears an uncanny resemblance to the iconic handset, right down to the thick chin on the bottom of the device. The big change is that on the... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Spotify is getting ready to enable a block feature in its apps to mute artists you don’t want to hear from. Spotify is currently testing the “don’t play this artist” feature in its latest iOS app, and The Verge has been able to test the new block functionality ahead of its release soon. The feature simply lets you block an entire artist from playing, so that songs from the artist will never play from a library, playlist, chart list, or even radio stations on Spotify. The block feature works on songs by an individual artist, but it doesn’t currently apply to tracks that an artist is featured on. Thurrott first spotted the feature, and notes that Spotify originally decided not to offer blocking “after serious consideration” back in 2017.... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Tesla drivers will have to spend a little more at the charger. The electric automaker has raised prices at its Supercharger stations, according to Electrek (via Engadget), after implementing a new pricing structure. Up until now, the company has charged drivers under a state / region pricing scheme. According to Electrek, the company is now moving to an individual charging station structure, to take local demand and power rates into consideration. The site pointed out that New York drivers were most recently charged a state-wide rate of $0.24 per kWh, which jumped 33 percent to $0.32 per kWh in New York City under the change, and notes that drivers in Europe have also reported increases. The company hiked prices anywhere from 20 to 40... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Tomorrow, Facebook will launch a petitions feature called Community Actions, reports TechCrunch, which will allow users to notify their local officials of actions that they’d like to see happen. TechCrunch says that the feature will roll out to users tomorrow across the United States, who will be able to create a petition, tag relevant public officials or organizations, and get their friends to support their cause. Supporters for any given petition will be able to discuss the topic with fellow supporters on the page, and will also be able to create events and fundraisers. The site characterizes the feature as one aimed squarely at organizing around public officials, citing examples that range from a “Moratorium on New Drilling” page in... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Star Wars all over again Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play, we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend. Shortly after the death of her grandfather, Sarah Wright is tasked with cleaning out the attic of his home in rural England. The small room is furnished with a desk, a large grandfather clock, and a curious globe. It’s also full of books and mysteries that Sarah uncovers as she searches through her grandfather’s belongings. This is the setup for What Never Was, a first-person adventure that feels like a cross between Gone Home and Myst. It’s smaller in scale compared to Gone Home — in What Never Was you only have access to... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Starz has released a new trailer for its upcoming second season of American Gods, showing off a building confrontation between the old gods and new. The series is based on the 2001 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman, which follows a former convict, Shadow Moon (played by Ricky Whittle in the show), after he’s hired by a mysterious individual named Mr. Wednesday (played by Ian McShane). He acts as a body guard and driver for the man as he travels across the country on a secretive mission. (Spoilers ahead) The first season of the highly stylized show saw the pair meeting a number of strange individuals on their journey, and it isn’t until the finale that Shadow Moon realizes that the man he’s been accompanying isn’t a human at all, but a... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Last month, Waymo launched its first self-driving taxi service — Waymo One — in Phoenix, Arizona, but you would hardly know it by scrolling through your feed. No Facebook posts, no live-streaming videos, no tweets. We don’t know how many people are using the Google offshoot’s self-driving minivans (Waymo won’t say), but the ones that are have been surprisingly mute on social media. One exception is Shawn Metz, a 30-year-old HR manager who lives in Chandler, Arizona. Since he was invited to use Waymo One in December, Metz has posted at least a dozen videos on Instagram and YouTube, documenting his experience using Waymo’s self-driving minivans. He’s become the hero of autonomous vehicle enthusiasts on Reddit He’s become the hero of AV... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
The Indian government has proposed new rules aiming to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation in the country on social media — and local civil liberties groups aren’t happy. Late last month, the Internet Freedom Foundation penned a statement saying that these new rules would act as a “sledgehammer to online free speech.” The proposed rules would amend Section 79 of India’s IT Act, the primary law in the country concerning online commerce and cybercrime. The IT Act works in a similar manner as the US’s Communications Decency Act, and the specific section that would be amended reads a lot like Section 230. If the amendments are approved, platforms like Facebook and Twitter would be required to censor content that the Indian... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Last September, Apple officially stopped selling its iPhone X, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6s models, following the release of the iPhone XS and XR. This weekend, MacRumors noticed that Apple has quietly begun to sell the iPhone SE once again in its clearance section. The 2016-era phone is available in 32GB and 128GB sizes, with $100 and $150 knocked off the price, respectively. The phones are available in space gray, rose gold, gold, and silver colors. It doesn’t appear that Apple has made the iPhone X or iPhone 6s for sale once again, but if you’ve been missing a decent phone with a headphone jack, this might be the time to pick one up. Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Samsung will hold its next Unpacked event next month, where it’s expected to show off a “fully functional” version of its foldable phone, along with the next iteration of its Galaxy lineup, Galaxy S10. A new leaked image from Evan Blass shows off three versions of the phone, the S10E, the S10, and the S10+. There have been rumors floating around since last fall that the S10 would come in three variants: the S10 and S10+ with a curved OLED screen, hole-punch selfie camera, and in-display fingerprint scanners, with a third (presumably the S10E), serving as a cheaper edition without all the bells and whistles. The company is also rumored to have been in discussions with Verizon to bring a 5G version of the phone to the US. A leak from... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
For years, military science fiction has envisioned fantastical tech for soldiers to use in the distant future, from suits of powered armor to advanced weapons. Richard Browning, the inventor and CEO behind Gravity Industries, recently took his jet suit for a spin over the UK Royal Commando’s Commando Training Center in Lympstone, Devon. Browning — a former Royal Marine reservist — started up his company in 2017, and has been showing off his jet suit since then. The suit, named the Daedalus Mark 1, uses six tiny jet engines — two mounted on the wearer’s back, with an additional two mounted on each arm — which allows the user to fly through the air in a controlled flight. I saw Browning demonstrate his suit a couple of years ago at San... Continue reading…

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posted 3 days ago on the verge
Nearly every video on Machinima’s popular YouTube channel has seemingly been deleted following its sale to Fullscreen Media earlier this week, and it’s unclear if any will be re-uploaded in the coming days. The channel currently has 18 videos listed on its channel, although most of those videos don’t actually play. Those videos are official Machinima productions, not independent uploads from creators who worked under the company’s multi-channel network Machinima Creators banner. A report from TubeFilter stated that Fullscreen’s acquisition “will result in the layoff of Machinima employees — with some joining other units within WarnerMedia and Otter — though it is unclear how many staffers these cuts will ultimately impact.” Following... Continue reading…

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posted 3 days ago on the verge
Fortnite’s latest mystery is finally starting to unravel. Not long ago a floating sphere made of ice appeared in the game, leaving many players to wonder just what was going on. Now we have an answer, sort of: it exploded and a mysterious figure inside called the Ice King created a massive storm, which covered the entire island in snow. It was a dramatic moment that included a towering, ghostly apparition appearing around Polar Peak, which kicked off the storm. In addition to the shift in weather, there are now ice monsters in the game — called ice fiends — which spawn from glowing blue stones scattered across the map. The new creatures also come with a new set of challenges where players can earn wintery gear and other bonuses. D... Continue reading…

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posted 3 days ago on the verge
For the last couple of years, my wife and I have relied on an ancient Garmin GPS for long road trips, in part because it had a useful feature that Google Maps lacked: speed limits. We might end up switching soon, because Google has begun rolling out the feature to Google Maps on iOS and Android devices. The new feature, spotted by Android Police (via Mashable), displays the posted speed limit on roads in the corner of the app, and also introduces an icon to denote the location of speed cameras. Mashable reports that drivers will get an audio notification when they’re approaching a speed trap. The update is currently rolling out to users in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while speed camera icons are rolling out to... Continue reading…

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