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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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge YouTube is finally enabling HDR support on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. The HDR support works across existing Xbox One devices and new consoles like the Xbox Series X and Series S. As long as you have a TV or monitor capable of displaying HDR videos, the YouTube app will now automatically switch to output HDR content. The YouTube app on Xbox has never supported HDR previously, despite HDR being available on the PlayStation 4 since 2019. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched in November without YouTube HDR support, and it’s still not available on the PS5 yet — a step back from what was available on PS4. The YouTube app on Xbox Series S. Engadget notes you can confirm that HDR is outputting correctly from the YouTube... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
The new MacBook Air with the M1 chip. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Apple is reportedly working on a new design for its MacBook Air that will include the return of MagSafe charging. Bloomberg News reports that the updated MacBook Air may appear later this year or in 2022, and is designed to be thinner and lighter than the existing model. Apple may make the MacBook Air smaller thanks to reduced bezels on the 13-inch screen, and will reportedly include two USB 4 ports on the laptop. Apple is also likely to include the next generation of its ARM-based processors inside this new MacBook Air, after introducing the M1 on the existing MacBook Air in November. The old MagSafe charger. Apple’s magnetic charging system, MagSafe, is also supposed to return with this MacBook Air redesign. B... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge Another company in the electric vehicle industry is going public by merging with a so-called SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. This time, it’s EVgo, one of the leading providers of electric vehicle charging stations in the US. The deal is expected to bring in $575 million for EVgo. When it closes, EVgo will become a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. In something of a poetic twist, the investment fund that’s merging with EVgo to take it public is one started by climate investor David Crane. Crane was once the CEO of energy company NRG, which helped start EVgo a decade ago. Roughly $175 million of the proceeds will come from Crane’s SPAC (called Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition... Continue reading…

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posted 5 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Samsung is considering spending over $10 billion to build an advanced new logic chipmaking plant in Austin, Texas, Bloomberg is reporting. The plant may be capable of making processors as advanced as 3nm, and would be Samsung’s third worldwide to use extreme ultraviolet lithography technology in its chip production. If the plans go ahead, construction at the plant could begin this year, with operations commencing as soon as 2023. An advanced US-based Samsung fabrication plant could provide Samsung a foothold in getting new contracts from US customers amidst ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. The move would also bring Samsung into closer competition with TSMC, which manufactures chips for Apple, among others, including the... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Honor has announced the new V40 5G flagship phone, its first since Huawei sold the company off to a Shenzhen-based consortium of Chinese partners. The phone is exclusive to China for now, but Honor’s V-series usually makes its way to the rest of the world under “View” branding. The V40 has a 6.72-inch OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ processor. The primary camera has a 1/1.56-inch 50-megapixel sensor. The 4,000mAh battery can be charged wirelessly at 50W or at 66W with a cable. Huawei announced that it was selling off Honor in November due to “tremendous pressure” and a difficulty in securing an adequate supply chain. While Honor was operated independently from Huawei, it relied on the... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo: DANJAQ and MGM / Nicola Dove Hollywood has decided tonight’s the night to shove back their slate of films — including James Bond’s latest outing No Time To Die, the Uncharted movie, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. No Time to Die now has a release date of October 8th, Ghostbusters will be pushed back five months to November 11th, and Uncharted now won’t arrive until 2022, Exhibitor Relations reports. Bond was the big film whose third delay was enough to force theater chains Regal and Cineworld to close all their US and UK locations. It was originally slated for April 2020, then got pushed back to November 2020 and now to April 2021. If you’re counting, this news marks the fourth delay. Instead of releasing the movie on streaming, as other studios have been doing, MGM... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge Google is threatening to pull its search engine from an entire country — Australia — if a proposed law goes into effect that would force Google to pay news publishers for their content. “If this version of the Code were to become law it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Google Australia and New Zealand VP Meg Silva told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee today. “We have had to conclude after looking at the legislation in detail we do not see a way, with the financial and operational risks, that we could continue to offer a service in Australia,” she added, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The company, which has been lobbying against Australia’s plan for months,... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Image: Alphabet Alphabet is shutting down Loon, its division that provides internet from floating balloons, according to a post on the blog of Alphabet’s X moonshot division. “The road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped,” Astro Teller, who leads X, wrote in the blog. “In the coming months, we’ll begin winding down operations and it will no longer be an Other Bet within Alphabet.” Alphabet, the parent company of Google, launched Loon in June 2013. Developing... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Image: Capcom If you’ve got a PlayStation 5, you probably know there’s not a lot to play right now — particularly if you’ve already finished the likes of Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls and Astro’s Playroom. But here’s something to (very briefly) tide you over: you can now download the Resident Evil Village “Maiden” demo ahead of the full game’s just-announced May 7th release date. It wasn’t available in the PS Store at first, but it’s been there for about an hour now. In the PlayStation Store on my PS5, the game was featured front and center in the “What’s hot” section for me, and I was able to start the download with a couple button presses. But if you’re away from your PS5 and want to remotely download the demo so it’s ready to play later, there’s a... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Let’s consider why Miami doesn’t have a subway Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo by Greg Nash-Pool / Getty Images Only hours after gaining full control of Congress, House Democrats are going after Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the platforms’ perceived roles in inciting violence at the Capitol earlier this month. In letters addressed to the chief executives of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), along with dozens of other members, called for the companies to make sweeping changes to their platforms to curb violent and extremist activity on their networks. The lawmakers accused the companies of using certain product features and algorithms that boost content that evokes extreme emotions as a means of increasing engagement, pointing out specific features they want to see changed on each platform. For... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
We’ve put him somewhere warm. You may have seen the many memes of Sen. Bernie Sanders sitting at President Joe Biden’s inauguration (we even did a rundown of the best ones), but now there’s a website that lets you easily drop Bernie and his chair all over the world with the help of Google Maps’ Street View (via Android Central). Simply put in a location or address in the website, and after one button click, you’ll have an image of Bernie sitting wherever you specified. The site, made by NYU masters student Nick Sawhney, is pretty bare-bones, and it’s not exactly fast — though the fact that it’s getting a lot of traffic could be partially to blame. As you can imagine, there are a lot of people, like me, using it for shenanigans. Here are a couple of examples Sawhney... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
The eighth mainline Resident Evil game now has a release date. Today at a live-streamed event, developer Capcom announced that Resident Evil Village will be coming to the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC on May 7th, 2021 — as well as current-generation consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One. The company also announced that a demo will be available for PS5 owners later today. Capcom says that Village “will be eligible to upgrade from PlayStation 4 to the digital PlayStation 5 version and will support Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles.” The event also provided a first proper look at the game with a new, rather unsettling trailer, which you can see above. It gives a good look at the disturbing castle where Village takes... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s tiny computers can be used for anything from homemade cameras to cucumber sorters, and now, the group is branching out into microcontrollers and custom silicon. The Raspberry Pi Pico is the first step. It’s a new $4 microcontroller that’s smaller than the average Pi, features a custom chip powerful enough to be used in machine learning projects (according to The Raspberry Pi Foundation), and is on sale now. In its introductory blog post, the company explains that today’s Raspberry Pis are already often used alongside a smaller microcontroller: The Raspberry Pi takes care of heavyweight computation, network access, and storage, while the microcontroller handles analogue input and low-latency I/O and,... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo by Gary Hershorn / Getty Images President Joe Biden issued an executive order Thursday requiring masks to be worn on public transportation. It was the latest abrupt change from his predecessor Donald Trump, who actively blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from issuing a similar order last year. The order mandates that passengers and employees wear face coverings on planes, trains, buses, subways, and other modes of public transportation. “Ensuring that people can safely travel will be critical for families and to jump starting the economy,” the Biden administration writes in its COVID-19 response plan. The Trump administration killed an earlier effort to require masks on transportation, arguing the decision should be up to individual states and... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
A render showing how Otter.ai’s Chrome extension works in Google Meet. | Image: Otter.ai You can now use automated transcription service Otter.ai to transcribe and provide closed captions for Google Meet calls with the help of a new Chrome extension. Meetings will be transcribed in real time, and transcripts will be saved right to your Otter account so you can access and share them later. Otter.ai says the extension works with all of its plans, meaning even free users will be able to take advantage of the tool. To set it up, first download the Otter.ai Chrome extension here. Once you’ve installed it, head over to meet.google.com and then click on the Otter extension. (You might need to click the puzzle piece icon to open the extensions menu to find it.) Then, you may be prompted to log in to use the extension, though I... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo credit should read Carlos Tischler / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images President Joe Biden will direct federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act to ramp up the supply of masks, testing kits, and vaccine materials. The action is part of a blitz of executive orders Biden has issued during his first few days in office. “We’ve already identified suppliers and are working with them to move the plan forward,” Biden said in a briefing today. The administration hopes the DPA can accelerate vaccine production. The plan highlights the need for more vials that hold the vaccine doses, syringes to deliver it, and dry ice critical to their transport. “We’ll do whatever we need to do to ensure that we have an adequate supply of vaccine,” said Tim Manning, Biden’s COVID-19 supply coordinator. The administration... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images A Washington judge has denied social network Parler’s demand to be reinstated on Amazon Web Services. Following a hearing last week, Judge Barbara Rothstein declined to grant a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against Amazon, saying Parler provided “dwindlingly slight” evidence for an antitrust complaint and “failed to allege basic facts” of improper business activity. While the case isn’t over, the ruling bodes ill for Parler’s chances in court. “Parler’s allegations at this time are both inaccurate and unsupported, and are disputed by evidence submitted by [Amazon Web Services],” Rothstein wrote in an order. Parler will need to find another web host or remain dormant while it continues its legal battle with Amazon. “Parler’s... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Bluesky, Twitter’s decentralized social networking effort, has announced its first major update since 2019. The Bluesky team released a review of the decentralized web ecosystem and said it’s hoping to find a team lead in the coming months. The review follows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussing Bluesky earlier this month, when he called it a “standard for the public conversation layer of the internet.” The review outlines a variety of known decentralized systems. It includes ActivityPub, known for powering the social network Mastodon; the messaging standard XMPP, which powers WhatsApp and the now-defunct Google Talk; and Solid, a decentralization project led by World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The report covers how these... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call President Joe Biden has appointed Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to lead the Federal Communications Commission until an official chair is confirmed. Rosenworcel is the second woman to lead the agency as acting chair. Rosenworcel was first nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama and served from May 2012 to January 2017. She was later confirmed for an additional term in August 2017 where she currently serves as the most senior Democratic commissioner at the FCC. Over the course of her tenure at the FCC, Rosenworcel voted to impose and maintain net neutrality and pushed to close what she’s called the “homework gap,” an effort to extend broadband to every child in the country. “I am honored to be designated as the... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge If you are looking for a smartphone with a good camera but don’t want to spend a ton of money, B&H Photo is selling a 64GB unlocked Google Pixel 3 XL for $300. The phone was released in late 2018, but it is still a solid contender for people who prefer Google smartphones and want a camera that offers solid image quality. The Google Pixel 3 XL includes a 6-inch QHD OLED screen display, a 12.2MP dual-pixel camera on the back, and two 8MP front-facing cameras. While this phone is almost three years old, it does come equipped with the latest Android 11 OS and will also receive Android 12, which will launch sometime this fall. The Google Pixel 3 XL was one of the tech giant’s two flagship smartphones released in October 2018, with both... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Mark Harris, writing for IEEE Spectrum, has come out with a chilling report about how military testing is leading to confusion among pilots — and sometimes putting them in danger. The piece goes into why the US military is jamming GPS in American airspace and recounts some of the times it’s almost gotten civilians killed. If you’re a frequent flyer or are interested in when military testing bleeds into everyday life, it’s well worth the read. The military is carrying out the testing, ironically, to help develop technology to counteract GPS jamming. To be fair, it’s an understandable goal, as the article details the troubles that pilots face when a technology they heavily rely on goes away. But when that happens, the pilot at least has... Continue reading…

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