posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is still behind the idea of deleting Facebook, telling a crowd at Wired’s 25th anniversary summit that while people have to make their own decisions about the social network, he stands by his decision to leave. “If you want to be on Facebook and you want to have ads thrust in front of you, go to town,” he added. Acton’s original tweet came at the height of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as the #DeleteFacebook movement swept the nation. The company was reeling from revelations regarding the political consulting firm’s mishandling of user data with the specific intent of influencing the 2016 election, when Acton jumped into the fray. At the time, Acton had been away from Facebook for more than a year,... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo courtesy Roku If you’re constantly misplacing your Roku remote, you now have an alternative way to control your movies — right from your wrist. According to the Roku blog, there is now a free app available for the Apple Watch. The Roku app looks, and works, very much like the iPhone and Android apps. It allows you to launch various Roku-based channels (listed in the order of most recently launched), control the cursor on your TV interface, play and pause your videos — in other words, work as an efficient remote control. The new app even allows for voice control, so you can launch channels or find programs without having to tap your screen (as long as you are using an Apple Watch Series 1 through 5 — it apparently doesn’t work with the first-generation... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verg The Surface Pro X sure looks nice, but a lot of currently available apps on the Microsoft Store don’t work with its custom SQ1 64-bit ARM processor — and weirdly, my colleague Dieter Bohn found that the Microsoft Store won’t stop you from buying apps that don’t work. So, in theory, you could pay for an app and download it, only to find it’s incompatible with your shiny new computer. Frustrating, to say the least. Microsoft promised it would fix that issue, and it has — sort of — with an update to the Microsoft Store app, according to Windows Central. If you’re using the updated app on Windows 10 with an ARM device, it will now apparently hide some incompatible apps and games from browsing or search if they won’t work on your computer. H... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Google has announced a few of its Black Friday deals, and they’re currently focused around its Pixel phones. You’ll be able to find decent discounts on unlocked Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and the midrange Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL soon at a variety of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and more. Google’s Pixel 4 saw a brief $100 price cut before it even released in late October (never pay full price for a phone), but if you missed out, you’ll soon be able to get an even better deal on the new phone. Starting on Sunday, November 24th, it will be $200 off, priced at $599 for the 64GB version and $699 for the 128GB version. Applying this discount to the Pixel 4 XL makes it $699 for the base 64GB version and $799 for the model... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Samples of lung fluid from 29 lung injury patients in 10 states all contained the same chemical, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. The discovery is a huge step forward for the ongoing investigation into the severe and mysterious lung injuries that have affected e-cigarette users across the country. The chemical, called vitamin E acetate is now considered a “chemical of concern” by the CDC, which is investigating the outbreak. As of November 5th, 2019, 39 people have died of the injury, and 2,051 cases are being investigated. when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung functioning The agency says that vitamin E acetate is an oily substance found in a ton of typical household items,... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Global Climate Strike | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge “Climate strike” has been crowned word of the year by Collins Dictionary. The term, which refers to people leaving work or school as a way to demand action on climate change, was used 100 times more often in 2019 compared to last year, Collins’ lexicographers found. The company says that they monitor a 9.5 billion-word body of text each year to identify “new and notable” words that reflect big shifts in culture. closer to home Massive protests across the globe over the past year reflect people’s growing sense of urgency to take action on climate change. Around this time last year, a panel of scientists convened by the United Nations released a report that found that the world had 12 years left (11 now) to dramatically cut down its use... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
At the kickoff keynote for Adobe Max, the company’s massive annual creativity conference, 15,000 designers and creatives cheered as Photoshop on the iPad was unveiled onstage. The long-anticipated app had been teased since last year’s conference, and the air in the Los Angeles Convention Center was filled with excitement as attendees finally got to try it out in between workshop sessions and panels hosted by inspirational speakers. But online was a different story, as negative reviews poured in on Twitter and YouTube, confirming early reports that the app was missing key features and felt unfinished. On YouTube, the first search results for Photoshop on iPad populate videos calling the app “disappointing” and “bad for colorists.” One... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge Black Friday is quickly approaching and the sales are ramping up. The next set of deals include Sony’s outstanding wireless noise-canceling WH-1000XM3 headphones, which are now a record $70 off at four different outlets. So far, this is the biggest discount we’ve seen for these headphones. That’s not bad for noise-canceling headphones that actually block out sound — beating out competitors in this category. They’re on sale for $278 at Amazon and Walmart and for $279.99 at Best Buy and Target. But you’ll have to act fast if you’re going to buy them from Target — Target’s sale only lasts until Saturday. The discount applies to both the black and silver versions, no matter which of these stores you go to. The 1000X M3s are widely considered... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Image: Lordstown Motors The closed General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio that’s been at the center of the company’s tension with President Trump has a new owner: an electric vehicle startup called Lordstown Motors. The deal — which was surprise announced by Trump on Twitter back in May — was finalized Thursday. Terms were not disclosed. The deal could bring hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs back to the area, and GM says the factory’s new purpose will help establish Ohio as a hub for EV manufacturing. (The automaker is itself looking to invest in a nearby factory in order to transform it into a battery-making facility.) But the Lordstown plant now rests in the hands of a small company that finds itself trying to do what almost no other startup has been able... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Apple stakes a lot of its reputation on how it protects the privacy of its users, as it wants to be the only tech company you trust. But if you send encrypted emails from Apple Mail, there’s currently a way to read some of the text of those emails as if they were unencrypted — and allegedly, Apple’s known about this vulnerability for months without offering a fix. Before we go any further, you should know this likely only affects a small number of people. You need to be using macOS, Apple Mail, be sending encrypted emails from Apple Mail, not be using FileVault to encrypt your entire system already, and know exactly where in Apple’s system files to be looking for this information. If you were a hacker, you’d need access to those system... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge President Trump teased new federal restrictions on vaping today to reporters at the White House, suggesting that the government might raise the age limit on e-cigarette use to 21. The announcement is a change from a policy suggested in September, when Trump said the federal government would consider banning flavored vaping products. “We’re going to be coming out with a very important position on vaping,” Trump said, according to CNBC. “We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so, so we’ll be coming out with something next week very important on vaping.” Several legislators at both a federal and state level have pushed for similar age restrictions in recent months. Senate Majority... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge WeWork — sorry, The We Company — is in freefall, and has been since its disastrous attempt to go public earlier this year. The co-working company’s S-1 filing revealed a whole bunch of chicanery, mostly in service of enriching Adam Neumann, its founder and CEO. Neumann’s bad behavior, however, has come with an immense human cost: he had thousands of employees beneath him, and after an emergency takeover by SoftBank, the company’s largest investor, their livelihoods are now in jeopardy. (Neumann himself is walking away from the flaming wreckage with more than a billion dollars.) Because of that, some We Company employees have decided to band together and demand the company treat them humanely through what is sure to be a tough... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge This week on The Vergecast, Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller welcome back Verge reporter and artist Dami Lee to discuss the biggest news that came out of Adobe Max 2019. Dami was able to attend the event focused on updates in creator software and reported a bunch of news out of it, so she enlightens us. In the second half of the show, Dieter explains why Microsoft’s Surface Pro X is a “heartbreaker” after reviewing it, Nilay compares the AirPods Pro to other noise-canceling headphones, and Paul theorizes what happened when people were getting super-delayed text messages from Valentine’s Day. There’s a whole lot more in between all of that, though, so listen through to get it all. Here are the stories mentioned and... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Netflix has announced that it’s dropping support for a number of old devices, including old Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, and first-generation Roku boxes. If you’re still using one of these devices, then from December 1st, you’ll need to either buy a new streaming box or replace your existing one with a newer model, if you want to continue using the streaming service. Samsung says the move will affect its 2010 and 2011 range of TVs, while Cord Cutters News reports Vizio TVs that are four years old or older will lose support. BBC News reports that affected Roku players include the Roku 2050X, Roku 2100X, Roku 2000C, Roku HD Player, Roku SD Player, Roku XR Player and Roku XD Player. Hulu and YouTube have also previously had to drop support... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
How random tools helped make the music to Hideo Kojima’s new game Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge ‘There’s opportunity for people to see the wonder in science.’ Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
There’s nothing I like more on bright and cold autumnal days than heading down to the park and watching the robot dogs playing in piles of leaves. To hear the scuttle of their little metal legs! To imagine the joy in their tiny silicon brains! Ah, what bliss. If you’ve not experienced these delights before, then the video above from MIT’s biomimetics lab will give you the basic idea. The bots you can see are the university’s Mini Cheetah: a lightweight and modular quadruped that’s been under development for years. We saw the Mini Cheetah earlier in 2019 when it learned to backflip, but the biomimetics lab has obviously cranked up production and now has at least nine of these little bots. Each one weighs about 20 pounds (or nine... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Red Dead Redemption 2 finally released on PC this week, and things have not gone well for Rockstar. Yesterday, Samit Sarkar at our sister site Polygon reported on various technical issues PC players are experiencing, and I can confirm that I’ve seen some of them for myself over the past week. While I didn’t have any trouble getting the game up and running at first, the biggest issue by far for me — and one that appears to be very commonplace — is that the game frequently hitches for upward of three seconds at a time. It’s jarring during gameplay, and causes you to miss crucial dialogue during story sequences when the game has to catch up with itself. This is a particularly strange problem because Red Dead Redemption 2 itself is otherwise... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images In 2016, election infrastructure across the country was targeted by foreign actors. Some voters in North Carolina were told they already voted when they hadn’t. Russian hackers broke into two networks in Florida. And most notably, the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee left the entire election due to foreign hacking fears. With only 362 days left before millions of Americans vote for the next president of the United States, Congress has done almost nothing to make sure 2020 doesn’t play out like 2016. Earlier this week, a joint statement from seven national security agencies warned of the looming threat to the integrity of the 2020 elections. “Our adversaries want to undermine our democratic institutions, influence... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
We’re nearly two months out from the launch of Apple Arcade, and things haven’t slowed down much: excellent new games from well-known creators still regularly hit the subscription service. The latest is Guildlings, a quirky fantasy adventure game developed by some of the minds behind Threes and The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom, which launches today. The RPG takes place in a world that blends high fantasy with modern day YA tropes; the creators describe it as “a world of wizards and Wi-Fi.” Here’s how the creators describe what you’ll actually be doing in the game: Leverage your Guild members’ abilities in playful turn-based combat, using unique powers tied to each party member’s personality and mood. Keeping your team happy will make... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
It’s impossible to miss when BB cries. The unsettling baby is one of the constants of Death Stranding, the latest game from Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. BB is part equipment, part character; it remains helplessly trapped in a sci-fi jar, where it both bonds with Death Stranding’s lead character Sam, and also serves as a tool that alerts him to deadly, ghostly apparitions that are largely invisible to humans. When BB gets scared, it starts to cry. And on the game’s default setting, that anguished sound comes through the speaker built into the PS4 controller. It’s like you’re holding a tiny, crying baby in your hands. It’s incredibly unsettling at first — but when you hear the creepy thing laugh, it almost makes it worth it. It’s hard... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s long-awaited debut under his new studio, is a large and convoluted game. Most of your time is spent navigating indecipherable terms like “chiral network,” or delivering packages and grappling with goo ghosts. A lot of headspace goes toward balancing your cargo load and building in-game structures like bridges. When you do find downtime, it’s a welcome break — mostly thanks to how interactive and strange these moments can be. Major hubs in Death Stranding, like cities, include underground private rooms where Sam (Norman Reedus) can relax. Each room includes a spot for his infant companion, BB, to happily hang out in its jar, as well as a combo shower and bathroom for all his toilet needs. On a practical... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Image: Evan Blass A newly leaked promotional video has given us our first look at Motorola’s Moto G8, which looks set to be the third entry in the G8 lineup behind the Moto G8 Play and Moto G8 Plus that were announced last month. The video, which was shared by notable leaker Evan Blass, shows a device with a triple rear-camera array (including a main 48-megapixel sensor), and a screen with a small teardrop notch up top. The Moto G8 is notable because in past years it’s been one of the G-series SKUs that’s made its way to the US. It’s likely to sit in the middle of the G8 lineup, between the G8 Plus and the G8 Play, both of which aren’t currently scheduled to come to the US. We really liked the Moto G7, which is our current pick for the best budget phone... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images T-Mobile announced its plans for a 5G rollout yesterday, promising to launch “nationwide” service on December 6th. It’s much wider coverage than either AT&T or Verizon has promised, thanks in large part to T-Mobile’s use of the 600MHz spectrum it licenses. But even though T-Mobile appears to be doing better with 5G, there are still important caveats. We need to see it actually tested for speed and coverage, for one thing. For another, it’s only available on two fairly expensive phones: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G. In some ways, however, this announcement and even this deployment is a publicity stunt meant to drum up support for the merger with Sprint. T-Mobile has passed pretty much every regulatory... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge Oh fine, let’s talk about some ancient Facebook history. Once upon a time there was an atrocious company called Six4Three. It made an app called Pikinis that found photos of your Facebook friends in their swimsuits and organized them all in one place. It was basically the living embodiment of contemporary fears over misuses of Facebook’s developer platform, and few mourned it when Facebook shut down the company’s API access during the big third-party developer purges of 2014 and 2015. The memory of Pikinis might have faded away, but the company’s founder, Ted Kramer, decided to sue Facebook in 2015, alleging that its behavior had been anticompetitive. Four years later, the lawsuit endures, and it might be one of the stranger cases in... Continue reading…

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