posted 1 day ago on the verge
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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Pinterest now displays a row of stories at the top of its home screen when you open up the app. It’s an interface that should look familiar to anyone who has used a social media app in the past few years: it’s the same tack taken by Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and plenty more. The change will start appearing today on iOS and Android. “Story Pins” were introduced to Pinterest in September. They worked like pretty much any other story format, with short videos posted back to back that you could tap to move between. Where they differed most was how you found them: Story Pins appeared like any other post on Pinterest, as just another box on various grids of pins. Now, those Story Pins will have an easier time standing out.... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter is acquiring Revue, an email service that lets writers publish newsletters. The move allows Twitter to capitalize on its user base of writers, journalists, and publications that regularly use the service to reach readers and grow their audiences. “With a robust community of writers and readers, Twitter is uniquely positioned to help organizations and writers grow their readership faster and at a much larger scale than anywhere else,” explains Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour. “Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content.” Twitter’s acquisition of Revue also places it in direct competition with Substack, a rival email newsletter... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Government-backed hackers based in North Korea are targeting individual security researchers through a number of means including a “novel social engineering method,” Google’s Threat Analysis Group is reporting. The campaign has reportedly been ongoing for several months, and worryingly appears to exploit unpatched Windows 10 and Chrome vulnerabilities. Although Google doesn’t say exactly what the aim of the hacking campaign is, it notes that the targets are working on “vulnerability research and development.” This suggests the attackers may be trying to learn more about non-public vulnerabilities that they can use in future state-sponsored attacks. Hackers set up a network of Twitter accounts and a cybersecurity blog According to... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Celeste was one of the most acclaimed games of 2018, but what you may not have known is that the tightly designed platformer was an expanded version of a smaller project developed in four days at a game jam. Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry created the original Celeste for the Pico-8 platform, and now that version has a sequel called Celeste 2: Lani’s Trek. The developers, now including composer Lena Raine, say that this game took just three days to make. The release is to celebrate the third anniversary of Celeste’s release. We said we probably wouldn't make a sequel to Celeste, but we never said anything about Celeste Classic— Maddy Thorson (@MaddyThorson) January 26, 2021 If you’re not familiar with Pico-8, it’s a “virtual console”... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Someone has gotten their hands on a database full of Facebook users’ phone numbers, and is now selling that data using a Telegram bot, according to a report by Motherboard. The security researcher who found this vulnerability, Alon Gal, says that the person who runs the bot claims to have the information of 533 million users, which came from a Facebook vulnerability that was patched in 2019. With many databases, some amount of technical skill is required to find any useful data. And there often has to be an interaction between the person with the database and the person trying to get information out of it, as the database’s “owner” isn’t going to just give someone else all that valuable data. Making a Telegram bot, however, solves both... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Image: Apple’s App Store It looks like Amazon is rolling a new app icon on iOS, and unlike countless other recent app redesigns, it isn’t just a logo dropped inside a white background! Rejoice! The new icon cleverly takes cues from perhaps Amazon’s most recognizable “product” — its shipping boxes and their bright blue tape. Here it is — in the app’s listing on Apple’s UK App Store. (There are a few other reports of others seeing the icon on their devices as well.) Whoever worked on this new app design, which will be instantly recognizable on your home screen, deserves a raise. Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The fast-growing encrypted messaging app is making itself increasingly vulnerable to abuse. Current and former employees are sounding the alarm. Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Grindr will be fined 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority for illegally sharing private information about Grindr users to advertisers, according to The New York Times. Last January, the Norwegian Consumer Council filed three complaints against Grindr for sharing personal information, including users’ locations and information about the device they were using, with advertisers. (One of those advertisers was MoPub, Twitter’s mobile ads company.) Associating that information with an individual could potentially indicate that person’s sexual orientation without their consent, and now, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority is taking action against Grindr for the practice. Grindr... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amnesty International has launched a new campaign against facial recognition titled Ban The Scan — and is launching with a demand for New York City to halt police and government use of the technology. Amnesty argues facial recognition is incompatible with basic privacy rights, and will exacerbate structural racism in policing tactics. “New Yorkers should be able to go out about their daily lives without being tracked by facial recognition,” said Matt Mahmoudi, an AI and human rights researcher with Amnesty. “Other major cities across the US have already banned facial recognition, and New York must do the same.” “The NYPD has used facial recognition to track tens of thousands of New Yorkers” Amnesty is joined in the New York portion of... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Facebook’s News tab will go live in the UK on January 26th in its first launch outside the US. The company says the section will offer a mix of curated and personalized news stories, but for select publishers the bigger news is that it will see Facebook paying them to license their content. Although Facebook declined to give information on the amount it expects to pay publishers, a spokesperson said the company plans to invest “substantial” amounts over a number of years. These payments are expected to mainly go to publishers whose content isn’t already on Facebook — for instance, like content that’s normally paywalled. The Guardian previously reported that some publishers expect these payments to be worth millions of pounds a year. A... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
John Ternus, Apple’s new senior vice president of hardware engineering | Photo: Apple Apple’s hardware team is getting its biggest shakeup in nearly a decade, as Dan Riccio — who served as the company’s senior vice president of hardware engineering since 2012 — transitions to “a new role” at the company. He’ll be replaced as Apple’s head hardware engineer by John Ternus, who led the hardware team designing the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, in addition to working on Apple’s M1 chips. Ternus has been vice president of hardware engineering at Apple since 2013. The role of senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple is a key one: the position reports directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is responsible for leading the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod engineering teams. Ternus’ new role will put him in charge of the company’s hardware... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
President Joe Biden will start the process of phasing out the federal government’s use of gas-powered vehicles and replacing them with ones that run on electricity. The announcement is the fulfillment of a promise Biden made on the campaign trail to swap government fleet vehicles with American-made EVs. “The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers,” Biden said during a briefing Monday announcing his “Buy American” executive order. Pres. Biden: "The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Amazon is enabling a new feature today that allows Alexa to proactively complete tasks around the house, such as turning off lights, based on your habits and frequent requests. Alexa has been able to sense these habits and ask about them since 2018 — the company calls them “hunches” — but before this update, Alexa would ask permission before acting on something like lowering the thermostat before you went to bed. If the new proactive hunches are enabled, though, Alexa will skip asking for permission for a task and just do it. While proactive hunches seem like they could make Alexa a lot more useful, having granular controls over what Alexa can automatically act on will be important. An Amazon support article seems to suggest you can... Continue reading…

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posted 1 day ago on the verge
Nerf’s got a new trick up its sleeve: Hasbro’s latest foam-flinging sidearms can curve their shots, possibly letting you hit targets you can’t even see. (Think Angelina Jolie or James McAvoy in Wanted but with bouncy balls instead of bullets.) That’s because each of Nerf’s three new Rival Curve blasters has an adjustable barrel you can twist to change the angle of your shot: left or right to shoot around corners, up to shoot straight, or down to lob balls over cover. Feeling skeptical? I would also be looking at this CG, especially considering MythBusters all but proved you can’t bend a real-life bullet over a decade ago. But you actually can curve toy projectiles like these foam balls. In fact, companies like Hasbro have... Continue reading…

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge When most people look out their windows in the morning, they likely aren’t expecting to be surprised by a chest freezer-sized box that’s feeding a 5G antenna, but that’s the exact experience some Houston residents have been having. Verizon has been installing the boxes as part of its 5G network rollout since at least 2019, and from the reporting done by the Houston Chronicle, it seems as if it’s been anything but smooth. The boxes are known as “ground fixtures,” and they supply power and data to 5G antennas that are placed on utility poles nearby. The ones gracing people’s front window views are being set up to build out Verizon’s 5G home internet service. It’s well-known at this point that, while millimeter-wave tech is blazing-fast, it... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images When pharmacist Erin McCreary moved to Pennsylvania in 2018, she didn’t anticipate ever having to administer vaccines. She’d taken a vaccination certification course back in pharmacy school six years earlier, but it wasn’t part of her job description as an infectious diseases pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. That’s why she wasn’t concerned about the state pharmacy board rule that pharmacists had to file their certificate within two years of receiving it or they’d have to take the course again. “Well, now, of course, COVID-19 happened,” McCreary told The Verge. She wanted to sign up to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts, so she emailed the board asking if they could waive the requirement. “I have my... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Image: OnLeaks / Voice Sony is reportedly set to bring back its “Compact” line of phones in 2021 with a new Xperia Compact model. It will offer a 5.5-inch display and dimensions more in line with Apple’s (relatively) diminutive iPhone 12 mini rather than the increasingly large phones that Sony has offered for the last few years. The new device, according to noted phone leaker OnLeaks, who has also posted renders of the upcoming phone over at Voice, would feature dimensions of 140 x 68.9 x 8.9 mm (5.5 x 2.71 x 0.35 inches), making it just a bit bigger than the iPhone 12 mini (which measures 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm or 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches). The new Xperia Compact is also said to offer an 8-megapixel selfie camera in a teardrop notch, a dual-camera setup with... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Wind turbines pictured during evening light on November 23rd, 2020, in Oschersleben, Germany. | Photo by Florian Gaertner / Photothek via Getty Images Renewable energy became the biggest source of electricity in the European Union in 2020, beating fossil fuels for the first time. Germany and Spain also hit that milestone individually last year — so did the UK, which officially left the EU in January 2020. Renewables powered 38 percent of electricity in the EU last year, according to a report released today by energy think tanks Ember and Agora Energiewende. That gives renewable energy a narrow lead over fossil fuel-fired generation, which accounted for 37 percent of Europe’s electricity. The remaining quarter comes from nuclear energy. “An important milestone in Europe’s clean energy transition” The rise of renewables is good news for the health of the planet. Still, renewable energy... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Verizon’s 5G UW delivers truly impressive speeds. | Verizon Verizon is extending access to its fast mmWave 5G network to its prepaid customers for the first time. A new unlimited plan starts at $75 a month — $10 more than the standard unlimited prepaid plan — and includes access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Previously, 5G UW access was limited to postpaid customers on certain unlimited plans. All prepaid and postpaid plans continue to include access to Verizon’s slower Nationwide 5G network, which is currently only a bit faster than LTE. The 5G UW network does offer impressive speeds, but it’s limited by very short signal range. Currently, Verizon offers the service in parts of 64 cities, so if you’re thinking about upgrading to a plan that includes UW, you’ll definitely want to c... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Image: Apple Apple is adding celebrity-guided walking workouts to Fitness Plus today, with new walks to be added every Monday through the end of April. The new feature, called “Time to Walk,” pairs music and inspirational monologues from famous musicians, athletes, and actors with the exercise tracking that Apple Watch and Fitness Plus are known for. Today’s launch includes walks with Shawn Mendes, Dolly Parton, Draymond Green, and Uzo Aduba. Apple says each Time to Walk episode features “personal, life shaping moments” from each influential person’s life and career, along with lessons, memories, and moments of levity. The celebrities will also introduce a playlist of songs after their talk to keep the motivation going for the rest of your walk and... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter has launched its Birdwatch program, meant to address misinformation on the platform by allowing users to fact-check tweets, the company announced Monday. Users in the pilot program, which will only include about 1,000 users in the US to start, will eventually be able to add notes to tweets to provide context. For now, users participating in the pilot can write notes on individual tweets, but the notes won’t be publicly visible on Twitter itself, only on the public Birdwatch website. Pilot users can also rate notes submitted by other participants in the program there. Here’s an example of what a tweet with the Birdwatch notes would look like: Image: Twitter An example of what tweets with Birdwatch notes... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge After pressure from activist group Sleeping Giants, Amazon has banned groups tied to the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters militia movements from its AmazonSmile charity program, the company tells The Verge. Members of the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters have been arrested for their suspected involvement in the January 6th attack of the US Capitol. Through its AmazonSmile program, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of eligible purchases on the site to a user’s chosen charity. Users can pick from more than 1 million charities — a list that, until recently, included the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters groups. AmazonSmile’s participation agreement says that groups that engage in or support hate, terrorism, or violence aren’t eligible... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge When it comes to whether MagSafe-enabled iPhones are safe around pacemakers or other implanted medical devices, Apple and medical device makers have the same advice: it should be okay, but it’s best not to risk it. MacRumors spotted an update to one of Apple’s support documents, where the company advises that iPhones should be kept at least six inches away from a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator during normal use and a foot away if the device is actively using wireless charging (via 9to5Mac). This advice isn’t specific to the MagSafe phones. Apple says the additional magnets shouldn’t make the phones any more likely to turn off your implanted medical device than any other phone, a sentiment Medtronic, the manufacturer of such... Continue reading…

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posted 2 days ago on the verge
Photo by Michele Doying / The Verge Facebook is aiming to improve transparency around political advertising on its platform by opening up more data to independent researchers, including targeting information on more than 1.3 million ads that ran in the three months prior to the US election on November 3rd of last year. Researchers interested in studying the ads can apply for access to the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) platform here. The move is significant because Facebook has long resisted willfully allowing access to data around political advertising, often citing user privacy. The company has gone so far as to even disable third-party web plugins, like ProPublica’s Facebook Political Ad Collector tool, that collect such data without Facebook’s express... Continue reading…

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