posted 8 days ago on the verge
Image: Rivian Amazon-backed electric vehicle startup Rivian has raised another $2.65 billion, bolstering its position as one of the most well-funded EV startups in the world. The investment round was led by T. Rowe Price and included Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and investment firms Coatue and D1 Capital Partners, along with “several other existing and new investors,” according to the startup. It’s hard to say how much Rivian has in the bank, given that it has spent a lot already to hire a massive team while also developing at least three vehicles that we know of. But after this new funding round, the EV startup’s war chest likely rivals that of China’s Nio, which also has billions of dollars in the bank. T... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Alexander Kramer for The Verge Apple’s MacBook Pro with the new M1 processor is one of the best-performing laptops on the market for the cost, and that cost is a little less than usual today. Amazon and B&H Photo have each knocked $80 from the base model’s normal $1,299 price. At checkout, you’ll pay $1,219, which is just $20 more than the lowest price yet. In other words, if you’ve been waiting for a deal, today’s not a bad day to go for it. Though, this price is only set for the silver-colored option. Unlike the M1-equipped MacBook Air, this base model Pro features a fan, as well as an eight-core GPU instead of seven in the Air. Looking to change your music streaming service or jump onto one for the first time? Tidal’s HiFi service delivers high-bitrate audio and... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Image: Instagram Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, isn’t thrilled with the platform’s TikTok competitor Reels. He discussed the format, which launched in the US in August, during an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast today. “I’m not yet happy with it,” he says. “We’re growing both in terms of how much people are sharing and how much people are consuming, but we have a long way to go. And we have to be honest that TikTok is ahead.” He went on to say the team is mostly focused on “table stakes” right now, and not honed in on how to differentiate itself. Specifically, he calls out TikTok’s innovative creative tools, like filters and effects that spur new video meme formats as something Instagram isn’t making on its own yet but needs to eventually... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
With an ongoing pandemic and an unprecedented lockdown of the nation’s capital, Joe Biden’s inauguration will look different from those that came before it. The Biden inaugural committee has already planned a week of extensive televised events — like live performances from Lady Gaga and Fall Out Boy — but to try to recreate the camaraderie of a live event, the team has also come up with a new way for supporters to participate virtually. On Wednesday, Biden’s team will launch a Snapchat filter that transports users to the Capitol to participate from home. Once the inaugural filter is selected in the Snapchat reel, users can take a selfie in front of the Capitol as confetti falls from above. If users flip the camera around, they’ll be... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Samsung’s 860 SSD has been one of the standards for PC parts since it was released in 2018. Now, the company is announcing its successor, the 870 Evo, its latest SATA SSD designed for consumer use that brings faster speeds and lower prices. The new drive is apparently so fast that it can actually reach the maximum possible speed for sequential read and write on a SATA drive, with 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds. The new model also represents a nice improvement compared to the 860 Evo, with Samsung promising roughly 38 percent better random read speeds and a 30 percent improvement in sustained performance. The 870 Evo also features a five-year warranty, which is good to see. The 870 Evo will be available in 250GB... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Epic has partnered with some of the biggest soccer clubs in the world for its latest set of Fortnite skins. Today, the developer unveiled the new “kickoff set,” which lets players swap between 23 different kits. There are some big names not featured — sorry, Bayern Munich fans — but the list is impressively global, with popular teams from Europe, alongside squads from the US, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. Here’s every club available: Manchester City FC Juventus AC Milan Inter Milan AS Roma Seattle Sounders FC Atlanta United FC Los Angeles FC Santos FC Wolverhampton Wanderers FC West Ham United FC Sevilla FC Sporting CP Borussia Mönchengladbach FC Schalke 04 VFL Wolfsburg Rangers FC Celtic FC Cerezo Osaka Melbourne City FC Sydney FC W... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
ViacomCBS is set to relaunch its CBS All Access service as Paramount Plus on March 4th, with a special event to introduce the new streamer on February 24th, the company announced today. The service will also launch in Latin America on March 4th, followed by the Nordics on March 25th and Australia in mid-2021. The version of CBS All Access that is currently available in Canada will rebrand to Paramount Plus on March 4th, with an expanded offering being made available to subscribers later in the year. To better introduce Paramount Plus, and give a more comprehensive look at ViacomCBS’s overall streaming portfolio (that includes Pluto TV and Showtime’s OTT service), the company will host a two-hour event on February 24th following the... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Qualcomm has announced a new mobile phone processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, a successor to last year’s Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus models. To be clear, the 870 isn’t a new next-gen design — that title goes to the Snapdragon 888, which makes far more substantial improvements in performance and new features. The 870, on the other hand, is virtually identical to the 865 and 865 Plus, with the same design right down to the Kryo 585 CPU and Adreno 650 GPU cores. The 870 is clocked at 3.2GHz, however, making it about 10 percent faster than the original 865’s 2.84GHz and about 3 percent faster than the 865 Plus (which offered 3.1GHz speeds). Think of it almost like a Snapdragon 865 Plus-plus. Think of it almost like a Snapdragon 865... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge The Nintendo Switch, like everything else that can lighten the mood during this incredibly tough time, is in short supply. And as soon as retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart get it in stock, it quickly sells out. It can be disheartening to miss out on the opportunity to buy a Switch — but fear not! The purpose of this article is to help you do just that without paying more than it would usually cost at retail. We’re keeping a lookout across the web to find where, when, and how you can buy a Nintendo Switch (the one you can dock to your TV or remove for portable use) or a Switch Lite (the portable-only version of the console) as well as any bundles that seem like good deals. Keep in mind that stock — even Switch consoles that... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Illustration by The Verge The head of Instagram on where social media goes from here Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images Microsoft is joining forces with Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors, to help speed up the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. The software giant is also chipping in on a new equity investment of $2 billion for Cruise, along with previous investors Honda and GM, bringing the AV company’s valuation up to a whopping $30 billion. Microsoft and Cruise are entering “a long-term strategic relationship” — though the partnership won’t be exclusive. It is Microsoft’s first partnership with an autonomous vehicle company. As part of the deal, Cruise will use Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, to help speed up the process of making money off its fleet of autonomous vehicles. For its part, Microsoft will leverage... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
With each new satellite that reaches orbit, the space above our heads gets a little more congested. There are about 3,000 active satellites in use today, but that number is changing quickly, especially as companies like Starlink send up 60 small satellites in a single launch. Add the 20,000 or so bits of orbital debris that authorities are actively tracking, and the image of a limitless expanse of space above the Earth starts to feel a little different. Moriba Jah is a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin who’s on a mission to make the stakes of orbital congestion abundantly clear. He built a visualizer called AstriaGraph that displays the positions of all actively-tracked objects in the sky. He also designed a real-time graph... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took everyone, including the IRS, by surprise. Because of the issues people were dealing with last spring, the filing deadline for federal tax payments was moved from the usual mid-April date to July 15th. This year, despite the still-very-present pandemic and various upheavals in our nation’s capital, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get the same tax vacation. As a result, and considering the pandemic might still slow down the processing of refunds and other issues, it might not be a bad idea to start working on those taxes as soon as possible. And whether you’re a full-time worker dealing with a single 1040 or a freelancer / gig worker getting a series of 1099s, the fastest way to pay the piper these... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
The Chromebook Spin 512 comes with a 3:2 aspect ratio display. | Image: Acer Acer is announcing five new laptops aimed at schools today, consisting of four Chromebooks and one Windows convertible. Two of the Chromebooks are Intel-based convertibles, with screens that spin around to turn them into laptops, while the other two feature a more traditional design and are powered by Arm-based processors. All five laptops are designed to be durable, with spill-resistant keyboards and components tested to MIL-STD 810H military durability standards. The two convertible Chromebooks are the Acer Spin 512 and Spin 511. They’re powered by Intel processors (specifically the N4500 and N5100). The Spin 511 has a 11.6-inch HD 16:9 display, while the Spin 512 has a 12-inch HD+ 3:2 display. Both come with up to 64GB of storage, and... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge The latest update to ubiquitous open-source media player VLC is here, and it comes with native support for Apple silicon Mac computers — the new versions of the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, and the Mac mini with Apple’s own M1 processor. VLC 3.0.12 also includes some visual tweaks to bring it further in line with Big Sur, the latest version of macOS. Mac apps don’t strictly require native updates to work with the M1 processor, since Apple silicon Macs include Rosetta 2, a translation layer that lets software compiled for x86 processors run surprisingly well on the newer Arm-based hardware. But for an app like VLC, which many users rely on for playback of hefty 4K or 8K video files, the improvements to performance and efficiency could be... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
Image: CD Projekt Red If you’ve already nabbed a next-gen PlayStation or Xbox — or are willing to give developer CD Projekt the benefit of the doubt that it’ll eventually work on your current-gen machine — you can now pick up the standard disc edition of Cyberpunk 2077 for half-price at Amazon and Best Buy. It’s $30, instead of $60. To be clear, that’s the price for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, which work on PS5 and Xbox Series X far, far better than they do on current-gen consoles. (There’s no PS5 or Xbox Series X-specific version of the game so far, but the disc will include a free upgrade.) Amazon also has the PC version for $40; compare to its normal price of $60. Sony actually took the unprecedented step of removing Cyberpunk 2077 from... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
In 2016, a team of modders released a game they developed a game in their spare time to nigh-universal acclaim — a mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that they called Enderal, with its own 30+ hour quest with gobs of original dialogue and professional voice acting. “[It’s the most fun I’ve had in an Elder Scrolls game in years,” wrote our sister site Polygon. It’s the top-rated Skyrim mod of all time at ModDB, has nearly 500,000 downloads at NexusMods and its own Steam page filled with glowing reviews. Now, its developers are setting off to build a game of their own. On Sunday, the team at SureAI released its final patch for Enderal, explaining that they no longer had as much free time to keep up development — because they’re working on... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amid rising political tensions in the United States, Telegram founder Pavel Durov says his chat service has taken down hundreds of public calls for violence, in accordance with the platform’s terms of service. In a public Telegram post on Monday, Durov emphasized the service’s commitment to banning speech that actively incites violence. “Telegram welcomes peaceful debate and protest, but our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit distributing public calls to violence,” he wrote. “Сivil movements all over the world rely on Telegram in order to stand up for human rights without resorting to inflicting harm.” Notably, the post does not address Telegram’s encrypted chat feature, which protects conversations from outside access and thus is not... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
One year ago at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Alienware made waves with a modular gaming PC that worked like a Nintendo Switch, with a pair of gamepads flanking a powerful Windows 10 tablet. Sadly, Alienware’s UFO was just a concept, as was Lenovo’s take on the idea this year — but two companies are now taking up the torch with a pair of crowdfunded gadgets you might actually see in your lifetime. They look seriously legit. The 5.5-inch GPD Win 3 and the 7-inch Aya Neo aren’t going about it in quite the same way; while the Ava tries to closely match Nintendo’s console in shape, size, and with strictly gaming controls on board, the GPD sticks to its palmtop computer roots with a slide-up screen that reveals a tiny backlit keyboard. There’s also... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
On Sunday, The New York Times published an article about the risks of sky-rocketing teenage device usage during quarantine — and as you might expect, they went straight for the guilty-parent touchstones. There are maudlin photos of a family ruined by gaming, and the quote “I’ve failed you as a father” comes in the second sentence. There are also curious comparisons to drug addiction (“There will be a period of epic withdrawal” after quarantine, one addiction expert warns) and vague claims about the impressionable nature of young brains. Before you rush to cut off junior’s Playstation Plus subscription, it’s worth putting things in perspective. We’re in the middle of a worldwide crisis, and the last ten months have been hard on everyone.... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images A capitol rioter may have stolen Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop with plans to sell it to the Russian government, according to an FBI affidavit filed on Sunday. The affidavit charges Riley June Williams with unlawful entry and impeding government functions, based on extensive video record placing her at the scene of the Capitol riot. But the affidavit also uncovers an apparent plan to steal Speaker Pelosi’s laptop and convey it to a contact in Russia, who would then make contact with the country’s government. Williams was identified by UK media over the weekend, and officers confirmed the identification with her driver’s license photo (on file with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) and in an in-person interview with her... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
2020 Game draws inspiration from the biggest trends of last year. | Screenshot: 2020 Game I get it, there’s absolutely no part of you that wants to relive the terrible year we just lived through. But I implore you to make an exception for 2020 Game, a free web-based side scroller that offers a lighthearted take on last year’s events. It’s well-designed, creative, and — dare I say it — even laugh-out-loud funny in places, and well worth the 10 minutes or so it takes to complete. 2020 Game is the work of Max Garkavyy, who developed it alone over the course of six months. Each level takes the form of a major event or trend from last year, ranging from the early rush on toilet paper to the US presidential race. There’s even a brief TikTok dance interlude. The whole experience is complimented by some fantastic pixel-art graphics... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images ProPublica has published a new interactive resource of over 500 videos taken in Washington, DC on January 6th, the day of the Capitol riots, offering an unfiltered look at the day’s events. The videos were sourced from Parler, the social network popular with Trump’s supporters, whose database of over one million videos was archived before the service was taken offline. We’ve covered previous attempts to organize these videos into easy-to-view online resources, like this interactive map from Patr10tic. But what’s notable about ProPublica’s site is how easily you can scrub through a timeline of videos and sort by general location: Around DC, Near Capitol, and Inside Capitol. You can start by watching videos of crowds attending President... Continue reading…

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posted 9 days ago on the verge
Jay Y. Lee arrives at the Seoul High Court on November 09, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea | Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Lee Jae-yong — known as Jay Y. Lee in the West — the de facto leader and heir to the Samsung Group conglomerate, has been ordered back to prison for two years and six months on bribery charges, according to Bloomberg. The billionaire son of controversial Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, who died in October, was first jailed in 2017 in a succession scandal that saw the removal of president Park Geun-hye. Lee served just one year of a five-year sentence before a retrial was ordered in 2019. Lee had been accused of offering horses and other bribes to a friend of the former president to win government support for his succession at Samsung. Park is serving a 20-year sentence on a variety of charges including bribery related to Samsung. In... Continue reading…

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posted 10 days ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Social media platform Parler was all but wiped off the internet last week, but on Sunday, showed some signs of life. A message from Parler CEO John Matze, first noted by CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan- is now appearing at the site’s URL, with an image showing a “technical difficulties” banner, and a message. “Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media,” the message reads, pledging to “welcome all of you back soon.” Amazon dropped Parler from its hosting platform earlier this month, saying in a letter it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content... Continue reading…

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