posted less than an hour ago on the verge
Essential is slashing the price of its eponymous phone, down to $499 at its website. That’s a $200 price cut from the original $699 price, less than two months after it began shipping to customers. There is really no other way to read the move except as a signal that it wasn’t selling well at $699 — especially given that the only US carrier stores it’s available in have “Sprint” above the door. It certainly doesn’t help that it now has to face the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL head-to-head. Of course, that’s not how Essential sees it, saying that the price drop is there in lieu of “a massive TV campaign to capture your attention,” which is hard not to see as a wry Google and Apple dig. “We think making it easier for people to get their hands on... Continue reading…

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posted about 5 hours ago on the verge
I love Russian automotive culture. When their not using stripped-down Soviet-era cars as curling stones, they’re doing something equally ridiculous like embedding Tetris in the operating systems of their vans. Tetris, the quintessential Russian video game, is apparently — and inexplicably — included as an Easter Egg in some models of the GAZelle Next vans. To play, you need to perform the automotive version of the Konami Code, which is to say click the odometer and clutch a specific number of times while revving the engine. That makes the game appear on the screen behind the steering wheel. Here’s a closer look: And props to Jalopnik for going the extra mile and translating the narration on this video: 1) Turn the ignition on 2) Start... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Google is introducing a new program to help root out vulnerabilities in third-party apps in its Google Play storefront. The Google Play Security Reward Program will pay researchers who discover problems in popular Android apps found in the store. Google has maintained bug bounty programs for products such as Chrome, Chrome OS and others, paying thousands of dollars for vulnerabilities. Developers of popular apps are invited to opt-in to the program to “proactively [improve] the security of some of the most popular Android apps on Google Play.” The company is collaborating with vulnerability coordination and bug bounty platform HackerOne. Developers are only able to participate if they’re willing to respond to and fix the bugs in a... Continue reading…

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posted about 6 hours ago on the verge
Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that has never shipped or even shown a product, has just gotten a $502 million investment on top of its nearly $1.4 billion in existing funding. The round is led by Singapore holding company Temasek, and includes major existing investors like Google, Alibaba, and J.P. Morgan Investment Management. It adds to the mystique around the secretive company, which has been on the verge of unveiling a pair of compact augmented reality glasses since at least 2015. Two years later, its main output is still flowery paeans to its own greatness. Investors have proven more than willing to throw money at overblown tech startups, like Theranos and Juicero. But Magic Leap still seems like a potentially viable... Continue reading…

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posted about 7 hours ago on the verge
There’s something appealing about space artwork, whether it’s the cover of a zany science fiction novel, or promotional art cooked up by NASA. Recently an art blog from Polish concept artist and illustrator Maciej Rebisz caught my eye. Titled Space that Never Was, it’s an engrossing collection of illustrations that look at what humanity’s future could have been in the solar system. Based in Warsaw, Rebisz works for a CG animation studio called Platige Image , and he’s worked on projects ranging from Cyberpunk 2077, the European Space Agency’s short film The Ambition, to various card and board games such as Android Netrunner, Star Wars LCG, Core Worlds, and others. In an email to The Verge, he explained that he’s been drawing seriously... Continue reading…

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posted about 8 hours ago on the verge
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence made NASA’s new goal clear: the space agency is tasked with sending humans to the surface of the Moon again, this time to create a foundation for deep space missions. Though it’s unclear exactly how the administration plans to pull this off, the new mission is a big change for NASA, which has been focused on going to Mars without a return to the lunar surface. But while NASA is shifting its focus, everyone else has also been looking to the Moon for some time now. Numerous international state agencies have ambitions to send either spacecraft or humans to the Moon’s surface, and various US space companies see the Moon as a way to make money. If NASA is looking for help to pull off its lunar... Continue reading…

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posted about 9 hours ago on the verge
Tesla has made an arrangement with Shanghai’s government to built a manufacturing plant in the city’s free-trade zone, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites reports from people briefed on the company’s plans. The WSJ reports that Tesla will own the factory, rather than partner with a local manufacturer, as it typically the case. Chinese officials have recently begun to consider relaxing some of the more stringent rules concerning local partners, as a way to encourage electric vehicle manufacturers. The arrangement would be the “first of its kind for a foreign auto maker,” but will likely not allow Tesla to avoid a 25 percent import tariff. In June, Tesla confirmed that it was in talks to build a factory in Shanghai, ending... Continue reading…

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posted about 10 hours ago on the verge
The Nintendo Switch is great for a lot of things, but when it comes to playing retro games, you’re better off looking at something like the SNES Classic than Nintendo’s current-generation console. Or, if you’re like Tim Lindquist, a hardware modder / electrical engineering student at Iowa State University, you build your own Switch-esque console, which through the power of open-source emulation software, can not only play retro Nintendo games, but basically any retro title you can imagine, via Hackaday. Image: Tim Lindquist (YouTube) Lindquist’s device — cleverly called the “Nintimdo RP” — goes beyond being a simple Raspberry Pi emulator, though. Rather, like the actual Switch itself, its a full-fledged portable... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
In June 2016, the Dawn spacecraft reached the end of its primary mission over Ceres. Since then, the spacecraft has remained in orbit around the dwarf planet, where it has continued to monitor and study its surface. This week, NASA has announced a second mission extension for the probe, one that will take its closest look yet at the solar system’s largest dwarf planet. When Dawn arrived in orbit around Ceres in 2015, it provided scientists with an unprecedented look at at the asteroid belt’s largest object, revealing new features (which turn out to be made of salt), an active surface, and even organic compounds. There was still fuel left over once it completed that mission, and while scientists considered sending the spacecraft to a... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
We hear a lot of promises about the future. But what’s truly on its way, and what’s going to remain a pipe dream for a few decades yet? That’s the question that Zach and Kelly Weinersmith set out to answer in Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything, which came out this week from Penguin Random House. Zach is the artist behind the wonderfully nerdy Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comics and Kelly is a scientist focusing on parasites. Their book covers a wide range of topics, divided into sections about the universe (asteroid mining, cheap access to space), stuff (synthetic biology, augmented reality) and “you,” (precision medicine, brain-computing interfaces). The chapters explain not only the... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Preorders for the iPhone X begin on October 27th, and supplies are expected to be limited. If you’re a member of the iPhone Upgrade Program, you might have a chance to streamline the ordering process when preorders begin. Apple announced that members of the program can get a head start on the ordering process on Monday, October 23rd. The banner points members to the Apple Store app so that they “can speed through checkout on 10.27.” This doesn’t mean that IUP members are jumping the line, but getting members through the program’s loan eligibility process. That should let those members streamline their checkout process on Friday by eliminating a couple of steps ahead of time. 9to5Mac notes that this appears to only apply to existing... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
I've really been enjoying the selection of offbeat, smaller films that Amazon picks up for Prime. One of those is Paterson, the Jim Jarmusch movie that has Adam Driver playing a bus driver named Paterson in the city of Paterson. It's slow and odd, and it's hard to imagine a movie like that finding a space where it can really be given its due. There's a lot of stress and strangeness and pleasant day-to-day oddities to enjoy in Paterson, but one thing that really stands out is how well it manages to create tension at pretty much a moment's notice. Paterson (the character) regularly ties up his girlfriend’s dog outside a bar while he goes to drink, and the movie leads us to believe that at any second, the dog could break free or be snatched... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
As mentioned in last week’s roundup, most retailers are holding out on any major promotions until November, but there are a couple deals we recommend taking a look at. This week we’ve got two exclusive deals for our readers — both the Anker PowerCore 2 portable charger and Portal wifi router are 20 percent off on Amazon with the Verge promo codes listed below. There’s also a couple entertainment and smart home sales, including this 55-inch Samsung 4K smart TV that’s now down to $624 (its lowest price to date). Our favorite deals Anker PowerCore II 20000 Portable Charger: Verge readers can get an exclusive 20 percent off the popular charger (with dual USB ports and upgraded powerIQ 2.0) for $39.99 on Amazon with code VERGEIQ2. This deal... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
When director Joseph Kosinski made his 2010 feature debut with Tron: Legacy, he was almost instantly heralded as an impressive visual stylist with impeccable attention to detail. He solidified that reputation with his follow-up, Oblivion, another science fiction tale — this time starring Tom Cruise — with impressive visual aspirations, even if it didn’t quite land from a narrative perspective. Along with other newcomers like Neill Blomkamp, Kosinski appeared to represent a new generation of science fiction filmmakers, ones whose commercial and visual effects backgrounds made them uniquely suited to a genre where the images often feel like the most important element of a story. That’s what makes Kosinski’s latest film, Only the Brave,... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
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posted 2 days ago on the verge
This is probably how Geostorm came about: at some point a year or two ago, a bunch of Warner Bros. executives were sitting in front of a dartboard marked “big American concerns,” trying to decide what their next disaster film should be about besides digital tsunamis and improbably exploding buildings. On the dartboard: terrorism, climate change, natural disasters, worldwide political conflict, the Democrats, the Republicans, Donald Trump, isolationism, globalism, hackers and identity theft, technological changes, scientific overreach, family tensions, and adorable kids getting separated from their beloved doggos. “How many darts do we throw?” asked one exec. “Eh, this seems like a lot of work,” said another, to cover up the fact that he... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Alphabet’s Project Loon has officially deployed its LTE balloons to Puerto Rico, the team announced this afternoon. In a blog penned by Project Loon head Alastair Westgarth, the company says it’s working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Authority, FEMA, and other cellular spectrum and aviation authorities to bring connectivity to parts of the island still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Loon’s official LTE partner for the initiative is AT&T, which is helping Loon use its fleet of stratospheric helium balloons to bring functions like text messaging and minor web browsing access to Puerto Rico residents who have LTE-equipped smartphones. “We’ve never deployed Project Loon connectivity from... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
The 3G version of Nokia’s resurrected 3310 was announced in September as theoretically working in the US, unlike the 2G version released earlier this year. But at the time HMD Global, which owns the rights to Nokia phones, didn’t say when (or even if) the 3310 3G would be coming to the US. Now, we know the answer to both of those questions: the phone is available for preorder starting today at Best Buy for $59.99, with the phone set to release on October 29th. If you’re thinking about picking one up, be aware that it should work on AT&T and T-Mobile because both are GSM networks, but it won’t work with Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA ones. Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
A Japanese company, which owns the trademark for “Animoji” in the US, is suing Apple for using the word to name its iPhone X feature. The Tokyo-based company, Emonster, filed the suit on Wednesday in US federal court, saying, “Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.” The company’s CEO, Enrique Bonansea, is a US citizen living in Japan. Emonster’s Animoji app on iOS, which shares the same name as Apple’s iPhone X feature. Emonster owns an iOS app called Animoji that launched in 2014, which lets people send emoji that are animated in a loop like GIFs. The app asks you to compose the message kind of like how you would format a line of code in Python or Javascript, with parentheses and... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Kyoto Animation’s work isn’t quite like anyone else’s. The style of its animation and storytelling separate the studio from the majority of other Japanese companies. It’s known for high production values compared to its contemporaries; Kyoto’s smooth, intricate animation is used for both subtle and spectacular sequences while having very stylized, but realistically detailed backgrounds. Kyoto Animation (often abbreviated KyoAni) gets more distinctive results than most studios in part because unlike in much of the Japanese animation industry, its animators are salaried employees. Japanese animation studios typically hire most of their artists as freelancers and pay them a rate for each frame they produce. That incentives speed over... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Razer launched two new products today for streamers: the Razer Seiren X portable microphone and the Razer Kiyo webcam with a selfie light. These two products are Razer's latest attempt to become the popular choice for microphones and webcams, which people normally don't go to it for. The Razer Kiyo webcam comes with an adjustable ring light with twelve white LEDs, which you can control to twelve levels of brightness. It has a four-megapixel camera that can record up to 1080p at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps, and it’s compatible with popular streaming tools XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software. The Kiyo comes with a 1.5 meter braided cable terminating in a USB 2.0 connection. It’ll sell for $99.99. The webcam looks good in theory, but it faces... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
YouTube Red just greenlit a scripted comedy series about Tinder, Deadline reports. Swipe Right, written by and starring Carly Craig (Role Models), is about a mother and her two daughters navigating app-based dating in different ways. Swipe Right is inspired by Craig’s real life, according to Deadline. She plays a woman who, frustrated with still being single on her 35th birthday, decides to go on dates with all of her 252 Tinder matches. Her younger sister is bored of being married and wants to start looking for romantic alternatives, while her recently widowed mother also decides to try online dating. YouTube Red has greenlit several other scripted series recently, including an e-sports comedy from Dan Harmon and a drama series... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long. This week’s video: “Family Don’t Matter” by Young Thug ft. Millie Go Lightly Lizzie: This week, like every week now, has lasted an entire calendar year, except with way fewer music videos than you might expect in that time frame. Taylor Swift dropped another lyric vid,... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
This week, a bipartisan group of US senators took the first steps toward regulating online political advertising in a manner similar to the way the government already regulates these ads in traditional media. Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Mark Warner (VA), joined by Republican Sen. John McCain (AZ), say their Honest Ads Act will protect against foreign interference in elections by requiring platforms like Facebook to make details about ads’ buyers, pricing, and targeting publicly available. Advocates cheered the move, which they said represented a long-overdue step to apply the same standards of transparency and fairness to online ads that have long been the norm for print, radio, and television. At the same time, the bill’s... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
For elderly gamers, this could be the biggest hit since Wii Sports: a new video game helped older people with hearing loss get better at tracking speech in noisy environments, new research says. The game had players complete a puzzle by listening for clues as background noise steadily got louder. After two months of playing, elderly adults with hearing loss could hear 25 percent more words spoken under noisy conditions than they could before, according to the study published in the journal Current Biology. It won’t replace hearing aids, but it could boost their effectiveness. “That was a holy shit moment.” There’s a growing interest in using video games as digital medicine to treat disorders like ADHD or lazy eye, but the idea is s... Continue reading…

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