posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Tesla’s first Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada. | Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that his company’s fourth Gigafactory will be built just outside Berlin, Germany. The announcement comes as Tesla is finishing up construction on the third Gigafactory outside Shanghai, China, and just a few days after New York State wrote down the value of the company’s second Gigafactory, a repurposed SolarCity facility in Buffalo, New York, by more than $800 million. Tesla’s first Gigafactory opened in 2016 (but is still under construction) outside Reno, Nevada. “Berlin is great,” Musk said, after receiving the Golden Steering Wheel award from German auto publication Auto Bild. “I love Berlin.” Musk has spent the last few years teasing that Tesla would build a fourth Gigafactory in Europe, and... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images While officials have broad powers to screen travelers at the border, they can’t search electronic devices without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, a court ruled today in a closely watched privacy case. Plaintiffs filed suit in 2017 In 2017, a group of people whose devices were searched at the border, including a NASA engineer, filed suit against US Customs and Border Protection. They said officials had taken their devices and examined their personal data. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that the searches were unconstitutionally invasive. Those searches have been widespread under the Trump administration, with border officials searching devices 15,000... Continue reading…

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posted about 19 hours ago on the verge
Image: Microsoft Minecraft Earth (think Pokémon Go, but Minecraft) was first revealed in May, and following its beta, it’s been slowly rolling out in early access across the world, first hitting Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and other countries. Now, it’s available in early access in the US, and you can download it for iOS and Android. The app worked when I downloaded it for iOS (my colleague Sean Hollister confirmed that it worked on Android), but there were a few steps I had to go through before I could start playing. I had to wait a bit for the app to install a content update, sign in with my Microsoft account, accept the Terms of Service (which ask you not to trespass or operate a vehicle while you’re playing the game), pick how my character... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitch Studio — the broadcasting software the live-streaming site debuted back in August to a select group of users — is now open to the public. (Though it is, for the moment, PC-only.) Developed as an easier way to stream and aimed at users who are just starting out on Twitch, the software is both functional and aesthetically appealing. It’s for people who have a vague desire to broadcast themselves to the internet but aren’t quite sure how to get started. Live-streaming is technically quite difficult: it’s live video production, which requires an understanding of the occasionally arcane ecosystem of software and plugins that make it possible. Like every other technologically difficult thing, it also requires a willingness to read a... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Facebook might have another security problem on its hands, as some people have reported on Twitter that Facebook’s iOS app appears to be activating the camera in the background of the app without their knowledge. Facebook says it’s looking into what’s happening. There are a couple ways that this has been found to happen. One person found that the camera UI for Facebook Stories briefly appeared behind a video when they flipped their phone from portrait to landscape. Then, when they flipped it back, the app opened directly to the Stories camera. You can see it in action here (via CNET): Today, while watching a video on @facebook, I rotated to landscape and could see the Facebook/Instagram Story UI for a split second. When rotating back... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Within the next two years, the US and Europe will require all new electric and hybrid vehicles to make noise at low speeds so pedestrians hear them coming. But automakers and regulators are still not settled on what that noise should sound like. Nissan thinks the car should “sing.” Others think the sounds should be customizable. Now, Ayax — an independent Toyota manufacturer and distributor in Uruguay — has an even wilder idea: make the cars emit a sound that encourages plants to absorb nutrients and grow. The idea was developed in cooperation with digital innovation firm The Electric Factory, a professional sound designer, and a “smart cities expert.” The group doesn’t go into too much detail on the website for the project, which is... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
All 30 seasons of The Simpsons are available for fans to stream on Disney+ starting today, but there’s one glaring problem: the aspect ratio is off. Every episode of The Simpsons is currently streaming in a 16:9 ratio, meaning it looks stretched and shots are cropped to fit a widescreen format. There isn’t an option to change the aspect ratio, either. This ultimately means there’s a plethora of gags from the first 20 Simpsons seasons that don’t land because the cropping prevents the joke from being fulfilled. The Simpsons originally aired on Fox in 1989, and it was broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The show relies heavily on visual gags — an aspect of joke-telling that wouldn’t become an issue until near the end of 2009, about a third... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Microsoft is releasing its latest Windows 10 November 2019 Update to devices today. While most of Microsoft’s significant Windows 10 updates usually come with a host of new features, this one is much more like the service packs you’d find with previous versions of Windows. Most of the changes are minor, and you won’t see a lot of them as they’re behind-the-scenes improvements focused on stability, performance, and more. That doesn’t mean nothing has changed, though. The biggest changes can be found in the improvements that Microsoft is making to the notifications experience in Windows 10. This new November update has a manage notifications button in the notification center (Action Center) that leads to a better settings area where you... Continue reading…

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posted about 21 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) raised concerns over the US Army’s use of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to find recruits in a letter directed to the military branch’s top official last week, as first reported by BuzzFeed News. “While I recognize that the Army must adapt its recruiting techniques in order to attract young Americans to serve,” Schumer wrote. “I urge you to assess the potential national security risks posed by China-owned technology companies before choosing to utilize certain platforms.” In his letter, Schumer asks Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy whether the Army was in contact with intelligence officials over its decision to use the TikTok platform recruiting and if it “conducted an analysis of... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Lyft is bringing its rentable, pedal-assist electric bikes back to San Francisco five months after several battery fires forced the company to pull them from service. The e-bikes were only in service for two months when Lyft pulled a thousand of them from service to investigate a handful of reported battery fires. The bikes were also pulled from San Jose and Oakland. Lyft had previously been forced to ground its fleet of e-bikes in New York and Washington, DC after a braking malfunction injured several riders. It is still unclear when those bikes will be returned to service. Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) said it struck a four-year deal with Lyft to operate a “hybrid” model of bike-sharing that... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Rad Power Bikes makes some capable e-bikes, like the RadWagon Electric Cargo Bike that The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins calls “a legitimate car replacement” for his needs. This model and several other electric bicycles are up to $200 off ahead of Black Friday, and you can take advantage of these deals online and at Rad Power’s Seattle location. These bikes are rarely discounted, but starting today you can save $200 on the following models: RadRover Electric Fat Bike ($1,299) RadWagon Electric Cargo Bike ($1,299) RadMini Electric Folding Fat Bike (High-Step and Step-Thru models; each cost $1,299) RadCity Electric Commuter Bike (16-inch, 19-inch, and Step-Thru models; each cost $1,299) Rad Power Bikes is offering a few other discounts, like... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Facebook is launching a new payments system today, appropriately named Facebook Pay. It will be available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and it’s designed to facilitate payments across Facebook’s popular social networks and apps. You’ll be able to use Facebook Pay to send money to friends, shop for goods, or even donate to fundraisers. The service will be separate from Facebook’s new Calibra wallet and the Libra network, and it’s “built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships,” according to the company. Facebook is planning to start rolling out Facebook Pay on Messenger and Facebook in the US this week. It will initially be available for fundraisers, person-to-person payments, event tickets, in-game... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal accused Google of stealthily collecting sensitive patient data from millions of Americans without their consent. The New York Times soon followed with its own report, offering more detail on “Project Nightingale” and noting how it was likely to rile up privacy advocates. Forbes then published its own story, followed by another article from Business Insider, each drip-feeding more details about this initiative. When, you might ask, will it all end? The problem is not the reporting; it’s that Google’s own ambitions in health care have no clear limits, which is something that Project Nightingale illustrates. Like Google search, “Project Nightingale” starts with organizing data At its core, this is a data... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge As of today, Podcasts on Pandora are now available for all users on the Pandora website and on its desktop app for Mac and Windows. The company first launched podcasts on its app last year, leveraging its Podcast Genome Project, an offshoot of Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which can personalize podcast recommendations down to an individual episode level. Pandora is banking on this hyper-personalization, and says its system uses more than 1,500 attributes — from the show’s MPAA ratings to a user’s listening history — to drill down on shows it thinks you’d like to listen to, along with specific episodes. This is mostly done with the Podcast Genome Project’s algorithms, but there’s still a human curation component involved to help guide... Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
You know the answer Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Nothing is perfect, but a few are good Continue reading…

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posted about 22 hours ago on the verge
Photo: Complexity Gaming Herman Miller, the furniture company perhaps best-known for the iconic Eames Lounge Chair, is getting into gaming. Today the company announced a partnership with Complexity Gaming — an e-sports organization with teams in Dota 2, Call of Duty, and more — that will see the famed furniture design firm expand into competitive gaming. As part of the deal, Herman Miller will become Complexity’s “official seating partner,” and the company will also set up an e-sports-focused lab at Complexity’s Texas headquarters. According to the two companies, the partnership “aims to develop an industry-wide solution to ergonomic equipment and design products to address the specific needs of gamers. Leveraging real-time player data from the in-house... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Costco is hosting a few “pre-pre-Holiday” deals, and it has shared some of its plans for the big shopping holiday that kicks off on Thanksgiving Day (November 28th) and continues through Black Friday (November 29th). Unlike some other retailers, Costco locations will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving in the US and opening up for business on Black Friday. However, it’ll be open for business via its online store around the clock. Below are the very best deals that you can get right now (assuming you already have a Costco membership, which is required to shop there) as well as the deals that we’re most looking forward to. We’ll be updating this post promptly as deals come and go. Computers The latest iteration of the 13-inch MacBook... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Disney+ arrived with seven chapters of the Skywalker saga, but people have started to notice something strange about the first Star Wars film, A New Hope: it appears to have an entirely different edit than the ones fans have seen before. The new edit, spotted by the Star Wars Visual Comparisons Twitter account, reportedly features an entirely new insert of the Rodian bounty hunter Greedo saying something while talking to Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine. A Disney representative told The Verge they’re investigating. The famous scene, which depicted the two characters having a tense conversation about the money Solo owned, was originally filmed and edited to feature Solo shooting Greedo first. The Special Edition release of A... Continue reading…

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posted about 23 hours ago on the verge
Do you pay for your own Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO Now accounts? A simple truth of today is that many of us share access to streaming services. Maybe you split the cost with friends or family. Maybe you’ve managed to cling to an ex’s streaming account (and they’ve been nice enough not to change the password). Disney is aware that this is the reality of consumer behavior as it launches Disney+, and the company acknowledges that its new service is in for the same treatment. With generous usage guidelines (four concurrent streams, up to seven user profiles per account, etc.), Disney+ is inevitably going to be shared by people. The service is meant to be enjoyed by everyone in your household, but there will also likely be people... Continue reading…

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posted about 24 hours ago on the verge
Disney+ promises to be popular among viewers, especially children, Star Wars fans, animation enthusiasts, and Marvel lovers. The streaming service went live today, and while the normal cost is $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year (there are several bundled services also available), a subset of Verizon customers can save quite a bit of money by getting a year of Disney+ for free. All you have to do is go to Verizon’s Disney+ page (you can’t get it through the Disney+ site) and sign up. However, as you can imagine, there are some requirements if you want to take advantage of this offer. First, you have to subscribe to one of Verizon’s Unlimited plans, including Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, Above Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Do More... Continue reading…

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posted about 24 hours ago on the verge
Image: Disney+ Compared to competitors like Netflix or Apple TV Plus, Disney+ is uniquely situated. It’s not a new space where viewers can watch a wide, varied selection; rather, it’s a play to sell customers what they already know. Disney’s lineup of originals isn’t as important as the hundreds of movies and thousands of TV show episodes it will launch with on day one. Almost every chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be available to stream. The same goes for the Skywalker saga and the entire Pixar library. Subscribers can binge-watch every High School Musical movie and revisit classic shows like That’s So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana. Former Amazon Studios strategist and industry expert Matthew Ball put it best... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Photo: Lucasfilm / Disney Star Wars has always been heavily inspired by classic Westerns. But that’s never been quite as overt as it is in The Mandalorian, the first live-action TV series for the franchise and the marquee title for the brand-new Disney+ streaming service. Outside of a few animated TV shows aimed at kids, Star Wars has largely been a brand that has thrived on the big screen — the original films practically invented the modern concept of a summer blockbuster — but can it make the jump to a prestige TV drama? With just a single episode out, it’s hard to say whether Disney has succeeded, but one thing is clear: The Mandalorian is off to a great start, and it’s perhaps the best proof yet that the Star Wars universe can lead to compelling content that... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Dell is launching new efforts to shrink its carbon footprint and cut down on e-waste. The sustainability targets were unveiled at a summit in Austin, Texas, alongside other initiatives on diversity, inclusion, and privacy. When it comes to stemming the greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, Dell will source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. (For comparison, Apple announced in 2018 that it uses 100 percent renewable energy.) Dell isn’t just switching to renewable sources; it’s also trying to use less energy. It plans to make its products more energy efficient and cut the emissions generated directly from its operations and its electricity usage in half by 2030. The company will work with other... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Within a day of impeachment proceedings being initiated against President Donald Trump, podcasts had already begun pivoting to full-on impeachment coverage. Now, just over a month later, there are at least eight podcasts solely focused on the process — even Rudy Giuliani is considering launching one. These pop-up podcasts might seem shortsighted because of their finite nature, but they give networks a daily or weekly relationship with listeners and are only going to become more common as the podcast industry consolidates into bigger and bigger networks that can spin up shows with even the slightest hint at a newsworthy event and shuffle audiences from one program to another. There are now daily impeachment shows published by WNYC, CNN, T... Continue reading…

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