posted 4 days ago on the verge
Image: Vizio In news that’s likely to be devastating to people who are looking for any and all reasons to upgrade their TV, CBS announced that Super Bowl LV won’t be broadcast in 4K HDR. The decision was made because of complications caused by the pandemic. This likely isn’t going over too well with all of the TV manufacturers that use the Super Bowl as the moment to clear out 2020 models at a big discount. But there are other reasons to seize these deals while they’re around. There’s more 4K content than ever, with HBO Max’s Wonder Woman 1984 being one of the big new releases to support 4K HDR. One of the TVs mentioned below has HDMI 2.1 ports, giving it the ability to display certain PS5 and Xbox Series X games at 4K resolution with up to 120... Continue reading…

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posted 4 days ago on the verge
Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Longtime TV and radio host Larry King died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 87. Ora Media, which King co-founded in 2012, confirmed the news in a tweet to the @KingsThings Twitter account. A cause of death was not immediately available Saturday, but he had reportedly been hospitalized recently with COVID-19. “Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs,” the statement from Ora reads. “Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions.” pic.twitter.com/x0Hl0X6vqU— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 23, 2021 King started his career in local radio in... Continue reading…

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posted 4 days ago on the verge
Brian Alldridge’s pill bottle design. | Image: Brian Alldridge Stitching together a pill bottle prototype Continue reading…

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posted 4 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Microsoft has reversed its controversial Xbox Live price increase. The company announced a price hike on Friday that would have doubled the cost of a yearly subscription to the service, which is required to play games online on Xbox consoles, to $120 for many users. Now, though, Microsoft says the price will stay the same. Beyond that, Microsoft has decided to bring Xbox Live in line with Sony and Nintendo’s online services by dropping the subscription requirement for free-to-play games. Popular free-to-play titles like Fortnite are playable on PlayStation consoles and the Nintendo Switch without an online subscription, but you still need one for Xbox consoles; Microsoft says it’s “working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
SpaceX is locked in a legal fight with a Texas oil company for a plot of land it wants to use to drill for natural gas, according to public records. The 806-acre site in southern Texas sits near SpaceX’s Starship facilities, a sprawling testing ground for its methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine. Tim George, an attorney for the SpaceX subsidiary fighting for the land, was quoted by Bloomberg News, which first reported the legal despute, as saying methane reserves from the land will be used “in connection with their rocket facility operations.” In filings with a Texas energy regulator, the SpaceX subsidiary Lone Star Mineral Development LLC demanded that Dallas Petroleum Group (DPG) LLC, which claims ownership to wells on the land, vacate... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Image: CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077’s first big update is available now, and it’s packed with bug fixes for the notoriously buggy game. In a tweet, developer CD Projekt Red also said that the update “lays the groundwork” for future patches. Patch 1.1 is out on PC, consoles and Stadia!In this update, which lays the groundwork for the upcoming patches, we focused on various stability improvements and bugfixes. List of changes: https://t.co/NlSEKjsax7 pic.twitter.com/WjLcD0SaZk— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 22, 2021 The 1.1 patch arrives more than a month after Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch. The game has been plagued with bugs and issues, particularly on older consoles, though CD Projekt Red has released three hotfixes to try to shore up some... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images Trading in stock of video game retailer GameStop (GME) was halted briefly Friday, as it soared more than 70 percent, due partly to the enthusiastic support of a group of Reddit day traders. The stock is up more than 250 percent year to date, rising sharply last week after GameStop announced Chewy CEO Ryan Cohen was joining its board, CNBC reported. Short-seller Citron Research predicted the price would drop, but members of the Reddit board r/wallstreetbets, who had been generating interest in the stock, criticized Citron on the Reddit message board and continued praising the stock on social media. GameStop is the most-shorted stock in the market The hype generated by r/wallstreetbets helped create what’s known as a “short squeeze” on... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge An intelligence agency has just confirmed that the US government does indeed buy location data collected by its citizens’ smartphones. In a memo sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and obtained by The New York Times, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) admitted that it buys location data from brokers — and that the data isn’t separated by whether a person lives in the US or outside of it. Data brokers are companies that, as the name implies, collect and sell people’s information. The companies collect people’s location information (and much more) by paying app makers and websites for it. Once the broker has the information, they can aggregate it and sell it to whoever’s willing to pay for it — including the US government. In the memo, the... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Vicarious Visions, the studio that developed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and the remake for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, has been reassigned within Activision Blizzard, GamesIndustry.biz reports. Moving forward, the studio’s team of about 200 people will now be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives.” That means for any games Vicarious Visions works on in the future, it will not serve as the lead development studio. “After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized there was an opportunity for [Vicarious Visions] to provide long-term support,” a Blizzard spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz. The studio did not specify what projects Vicarious Visions... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Adequate COVID-19 vaccine distribution still seems like the greatest obstacle to slowing the spread of the pandemic, but if you’re looking to worry about the other threat that’s still blocking progress — an unwillingness to take the vaccine at all — and the creative efforts on Facebook that are going into stopping it, you should go read this FiveThirtyEight report. Facebook’s taken steps to combat misinformation related to the pandemic, removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines and banning ads that discourage vaccine use, but reporter Kaleigh Rogers highlights some of the more direct outreach that pro-vaccine activists are doing to combat misinformation. From “honeypot” Facebook groups designed to capture the anti-vax curious to... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The European Parliament is being investigated by the European Data Protection Supervisor after allegations that its COVID testing website didn’t meet EU privacy standards. Six members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have worked with data watchdog group noyb to bring the complaint, saying that the site illegally sent data to the US and that its cookie banners were deceptive. The website was set up to help MEPs schedule COVID tests, and while it didn’t handle any health information itself, sending data to the US for processing would still be illegal. According to the complaint, the testing website made over 150 requests to third parties, including Google and Stripe. Under EU law, data can only be transferred to the US if “an adequate... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon is trying to delay a union vote in Bessemer, Alabama, appealing a US labor board decision to allow 6,000 warehouse workers to vote by mail on unionization. The company is arguing for the election to be held in person, according to documents filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Thursday. Amazon’s argument is that mail-in voting decreases voter turnout. It says the NLRB looked at the wrong COVID-19 infection data when determining how to hold the vote, using the positivity rate in Jefferson County, where the warehouse is located, rather than the positivity rate at the warehouse itself. Workers in Bessemer are set to vote on whether to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union starting on... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge Google is redesigning how search results look on mobile, the company announced in a blog on Friday. “We wanted to take a step back to simplify a bit so people could find what they’re looking for faster and more easily,” Aileen Cheng, who led the redesign, said in the blog. The redesign will have larger and bolder text that’s intended to be easier to scan quickly, and you’ll see more of Google’s font in results. Search results will also take up more of the width of your screen, thanks in part to reduced shadows. Google also says the redesign will use color “more intentionally” to help highlight important information without being distracting. To get an idea of how the redesign differs from the current experience, compare this render of... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage The Federal Trade Commission issued multimillion-dollar fines against three bot-powered ticket scalping operations. The FTC says these organizations bought over 150,000 event tickets over the past four years, nabbing them with automated tools that evaded online purchasing limits. After reselling these tickets for an estimated $26.1 million, they’ve been accused of breaking a 2016 anti-bot law — the first time this law has been applied. Regulators reached a proposed settlement with the ticket selling groups, including $31.6 million in fines. However, most of these fines were suspended because of an inability to pay. The three groups will pay a total of $3.7 million instead, and they’ll have to maintain records demonstrating their future... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Microsoft spent most of 2020 building up goodwill for its Xbox Game Pass service and next-gen consoles, but a new Xbox Live Gold price hike risks wiping all of that out. The Xbox maker announced a number of changes to Xbox Live Gold pricing today — you should read our full post for details — and the bottom line is that it’s moving from $60 a year to $120 for most people. That’s a huge jump and a badly timed one: it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic, just as Microsoft has reported big boosts to its gaming revenue throughout 2020. The reason for the move is obvious — get people on Xbox Game Pass — but Microsoft has done it in a clumsy and poorly timed way. Xbox fans are understandably angry. Microsoft stands alone in being the only... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Apple may finally be bringing an integrated SD card slot to its upcoming 2021 models of its MacBook Pro laptops, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in a move that would restore the popular port standard to the company’s computers. The MacBook Pro lineup hasn’t offered an SD card slot since Apple removed the feature in its 2016 redesign, which excised all the ports from the laptops in favor of four universal USB-C ports. This forced many professional users — who rely on the popular memory card format to import photos and videos to their computers for editing — to turn to much-reviled dongles to get the same functionality. The news comes after an earlier report from Gurman that originally detailed some of the changes... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge This week on The Verge’s flagship podcast The Vergecast, The Verge’s own Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, Julia Alexander, and Chaim Gartenberg run through the news, reviews, and rumors in the world of tech this week. Dieter published his review of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra on Thursday, so The Vergecast discusses the updates and fixes in this iteration of the flagship phone. Has Samsung redeemed itself from the S20 Ultra? Second half of the show, there were a bunch of Apple rumors this week — reports of the company planning a Mac redesign, a foldable phone, and a VR headset — so the crew theorizes what these products could look like, what their function could be, and when these would actually be available. The show wraps up with some... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
If you haven’t found time to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max — and you still want to see what all the fuss is about — there are only a couple more days to do so. Wonder Woman 1984 will leave HBO Max on Sunday, January 24th. This was always part of the plan. It will play for many weeks exclusively in theaters before making its way to digital avenues again, WarnerMedia confirmed to The Verge in November. Wonder Woman 1984 will then go through the traditional windowing system (becoming available for purchase on digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon) before likely returning to HBO Max. In parts of the United States where movie theaters are open, that leaves people with a less than perfect option to see the movie, but an option... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Away CEO Stuart Haselden will step down in February, according to a company press release. The luggage brand’s president and co-founder, Jen Rubio, will take over as interim chief executive until Away finds a permanent replacement. The news was first reported by Axios. Haselden, a former Lululemon executive, joined the company in the wake of a Verge investigation, which found that former employees were critical of then-CEO Steph Korey’s management style. Korey stepped down shortly after this investigation, then retook her post and threatened to sue The Verge for defamation. Haselden and Korey served as co-CEOs until Korey resigned again in October. Haselden told employees that he is leaving to pursue another opportunity, Axios reports.... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Image: Razer Razer’s DeathAdder V2 wired gaming mouse is one of the best wired gaming mice you can buy right now, according to my colleague Cameron Faulkner. But if you are trying to minimize the number of cables on your desk, the DeathAdder V2 Pro is a nice wireless alternative — and it’s down to $100 at Amazon and Best Buy. The DeathAdder V2 Pro is a lightweight mouse weighing in at 88 grams, six grams heavier than its wired variant. It has the same support for five onboard profiles and the same 20K optical sensor. If you don’t mind wired gaming mice and you are on a budget, Amazon and Best Buy have also discounted the Razer Viper Mini, bringing it down to just $20. It’s a miniature rehash of Razer’s Viper gaming mouse. It can last for up to 50... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Microsoft is increasing the prices of its Xbox Live Gold subscription soon. The software giant has started notifying existing Xbox Live Gold members of the changes in certain markets, and it will see the price rise by a dollar to $10.99 per month in the US and $5 for a three-month membership. Twelve-month and six-month pricing is also going up, but the increase won’t affect existing subscribers here. Three months will now be priced at $29.99, with six months at $59.99. Microsoft is also allowing Xbox Live Gold members to convert their remaining Gold time into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (up to 36 months). The conversion means if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold left on your account, you can upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and convert... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by The Verge Marques Brownlee on how he is scaling his brand Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Andrew Marino / The Verge It’s been nearly eight years since Radiotopia executive producer Julie Shapiro noticed that 70 percent of the most popular podcasts were hosted by men. It’s been six years since journalist and audio editor Charley Locke argued that podcasting’s biggest problem isn’t discovery but diversity. And it’s approaching three years since podcast producer Phoebe Wang’s infamous Third Coast call out of audio companies’ lack of diversity, which led, in part, to the POC in Audio directory. Despite the no-doubt earnest efforts of many well-meaning individuals, podcasting, it would seem, has had — and continues to have — a diversity problem. And while there are many factors which contribute to maintaining the industry’s status quo, there is one culprit... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
It’s just a jump to the left and a step to the right for Wanda and Vision, who have time warped from the ‘50s and ‘60s to the 1970s. The third episode picks up right where the last ended: Wanda is pregnant, but she and Vision are still trying to figure out how they ended up in their perfect suburban life together with no past memories. It’s a wackier installment than the first two episodes, but it’s also key to piecing together what might play out over the next six weeks — including what it could possibly mean for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. [With that said, here is your spoiler alert for WandaVision’s third episode.] If the beginning of WandaVision’s third episode sets up that something isn’t right, as Vision tells... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Newell during a rare interview. | Image: 1 News Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell has given one of his famously rare interviews with New Zealand’s 1 News. In it, he discusses his admiration for the island country, where he recently applied for residency after having sheltered there during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also used the interview to confirm that Valve does indeed have new games in development (though he declined to offer more details) and addressed rumors that the company plans to set up an office in New Zealand. Mostly it just seems like Newell is having an absolutely lovely time living in a country that hasn’t reported any COVID-19 deaths since September last year. He says he’s been attending motorsport races and pursuing an interest in neuroscience, all while Valve... Continue reading…

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