posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: L-DI-EGO on Lego Ideas If you want a Metroid Lego set, you have the power to bring the idea closer to reality. User L-DI-EGO has submitted a design on Lego’s Ideas website that brings the block treatment to Samus and her gunship, but the site requires votes to get this concept in front of Lego itself (via Nintendo Life). Lego Ideas is an official site for users to submit their concepts and designs for the Lego company to consider, and where Lego fans can vote for their favorites. If a submission gets 10,000 votes, the Lego Group may turn it into a real product. Right now the Metroid concept has around 5,700 votes, so it’s just over halfway. If you like the concept, you can go to the website to put your thumb on the scale. Image: L-DI-EGO on... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images In one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden walked back the former administration’s plan to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will participate in the organization’s executive meeting this week, according to a fact sheet released by the Biden-Harris transition team. Donald Trump announced plans to cut ties with the WHO in late May, claiming that China had “total control” over the global health organization. Experts widely criticized the move, saying that it would be catastrophic for public health in the midst of a deadly pandemic. The US is a major funder for the WHO. At the time the withdrawal was announced,... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Joe Biden speaks about climate change and the wildfires on the West Coast at the Delaware Museum of Natural History on September 14th, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.  | Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images President Joe Biden recommitted the US to the Paris climate accord during his first day in office, fulfilling one of his earliest campaign promises. In 30 days, the US will once again be part of the global accord. Rejoining the agreement is as easy as sending a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations. What comes after that will be much harder. “The world is very tired of seeing the US make promises we don’t keep” The US turned its back on efforts to tackle the climate crisis together as a planet when Donald Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Trump decimated federal efforts to slash emissions within the US, and he stood by other right-wing leaders — like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who similarly... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images Hours after taking his oath of office on Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders overturning actions taken by the Trump administration regarding immigration, and tech is rallying behind the move. Biden signed two executive orders Wednesday that extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for another four years and overturn the Trump administration’s travel bans on largely Muslim-majority countries. It’s just the start of the Biden administration’s immigration reform efforts. The administration also plans to drop a new bill that would provide 11 million undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship and an eight-year waiting period before they can become permanent residents, according to P... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: Disney Our desperate plea for a Muppets adaptation of The Great Gatsby has been answered: documentary filmmaker Ben Crew has taken the public domain novel and turned it into a downloadable 104-page fan-made script that marries Muppet antics with existential angst. My request for an adaptation may have been ridiculous, but this script seriously vindicates me. Crew’s script, “Muppets Present ‘The Great Gatsby,’” may be a silly mashup of a novel you’re forced to read in high school and a puppet comedy variety show, but he said it became a meaningful project when January’s news cycle became too much to bear. “I knew that there was nothing I could do about what was happening in D.C. and that if I didn’t distract myself I was just going to waste away... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Captain Andrea Hall speaking and signing the Pledge of Allegiance during the presidential inauguration. | Photo by Erin Schaff / Pool / AFP via Getty Images Firefighter Andrea Hall put accessible communication front and center at the presidential inauguration today when she led the Pledge of Allegiance in both spoken English and Signed English. The inaugural committee also hosted several separate accessible live streams of the event on its YouTube page, including one with audio description, one with live captions and American Sign Language interpretation, and one with Cued Speech transliteration (the use of hand shapes to signal speech sounds). But despite those efforts, many deaf and hard of hearing viewers still found the inauguration inaccessible. Most broadcast stations didn’t have an ASL interpreter on-screen and used automated captions, which are notoriously inaccurate. In what some... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: JBL JBL’s Google Assistant-powered smart display, the Link View, is on sale for $80 on Harman Audio’s (JBL’s parent company) eBay store. While its original price was $300, this smart display has been slowly getting cheaper since it debuted in 2018. Both the black and white color variants are on sale, and it comes with free standard shipping. The JBL Link View smart display features an 8-inch touchscreen display with a webcam built into the device. Although it has been on the market for several years, time has been kind to this smart display. And Reddit users have pointed out that the Link View recently received an update, which includes a new user interface. For the price, JBL’s smart display seems like a great value that delivers more... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitch has “indefinitely” banned former President Donald Trump from its platform. The action comes two weeks after the site disabled Trump’s account, preventing him from streaming but leaving the account page live, in light of the mob attack on the Capitol. At the time, a company spokesperson told a Verge reporter that it would reassess his account after he left office — which happened today. “We have indefinitely suspended President Trump’s Twitch channel due to the ongoing risk of further incitement of violence,” a Twitch spokesperson wrote in an email to The Verge. The President’s statements continue to be interpreted as calls to action, and we are taking this action to remove the potential for harm to our community and the general... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Today’s US presidential inauguration brought many good things, but the thing Twitter seems most excited about is a new crop of Bernie memes. The meme started with a wire photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sitting on a folding chair watching President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The temperature in Washington, DC was in the 40s, so he’s bundled up with a coat and mittens, and he’s sitting socially distanced from everyone else, as his age and prior health issues put him at severe risk for COVID-19. Something about Sanders’ chilly body language, his oversized wool mittens, and the fact that he was sitting entirely alone made the photo irresistible as meme material. Of course, the senator is no stranger to memes — including 2016’s Birdie... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon has offered to help the Biden administration meet its goal of completing 100 million coronavirus vaccinations within the next 100 days. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s worldwide operations leader, wrote in a letter to the administration. The company’s main interest appears to be in offering vaccinations through its own facilities. Clark writes that Amazon has “an agreement in place” with a health care provider to administer vaccinations on site, though he did not say which Amazon facilities were being considered. The company operates warehouses, Amazon-branded shops, and Whole Foods grocery stores.... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Bill Ingalls / NASA At 12PM ET today, Jim Bridenstine officially stepped down from his role as NASA administrator. During his time at the agency, the former Oklahoma congressman and Naval aviator used his political chops to drum up bipartisan support for the Trump administration’s Artemis program, the agency’s cornerstone initiative to land humans on the Moon by 2024 — a deadline widely viewed as nearly impossible to meet. In anticipation of President Joe Biden taking office and the Senate transitioning to Democratic control, Bridenstine, a Republican, spent his final days as administrator making one last push for the Artemis program, a parting bid to insulate the program from potential cancellation. Last week, he met with top Democrats including Sen.... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess joined twitter Wednesday, and his first tweet was a light trolling of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Hello @Twitter! I’m here to make an impact with @VWGroup, especially on political issues,” Diess wrote. “And, of course, to get some of your market shares, @elonmusk – after all, our ID.3 and e-tron have won the first markets in Europe. Looking forward to productive discussions!” Diess — who last year settled criminal charges related to his role in the Dieselgate emissions scandal — was referencing how the first mass-market electric vehicles of its VW and Audi brands performed well in Europe (and especially in Germany) in their debut year, causing Tesla to lose market share on the continent. (To wit, while... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
The official website of the White House, WhiteHouse.gov, has been completely replaced with a new version for the Biden administration, and it comes with some unexpected accessibility features: a high contrast mode, which serves as a dark mode, and a toggle to make the font size larger. Both options show up along the left rail as big, easy-to-click or tap buttons, and that’s the way you’ll need to toggle them. Even if your device has a system-wide dark mode, the White House website won’t switch over automatically. That’s because it’s really there to serve as an accessibility feature, meant to help anyone who would have trouble reading or looking at a bright white screen with black text. With dark mode being very popular among heavy... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Streaming services are slowly turning into cable TV — complete with bundles, an ever-growing list of channels, and a reinvented TV guide. And a series of lawsuits could portend the return of something even worse: the hidden cable fee. Three municipalities in Georgia are suing Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming video providers for as much as 5 percent of their gross revenue in the district — joining a nationwide group of towns and counties that want these services regulated more like cable TV. It’s a small but growing front in the war over cord-cutting, challenging regulators to decide which matters more: the increasing role streaming services play in American media diets or their significant practical differences from traditional TV. M... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Last October, Lenovo unveiled its new Google Assistant-powered alarm clock, the Smart Clock Essential. At just $50, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is slightly smarter than your average bedside clock. Not only does it display time, weather conditions, and current alarms, but its compact design won’t take up much space on your nightstand or bedside table. The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is currently $25 at Best Buy. And if you want to take full advantage of Google Assistant and add some smarts to your home, Best Buy is currently offering a bundle that includes the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential and four C by GE Direct Connect Smart Bulbs for only $30. If you are in the market for a new pair of wireless earbuds and do not mind... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Netflix’s Shuffle Play feature, which the company was spotted testing last year, is getting a widespread launch in the first half of 2021. Variety reports the company made the announcement as part of its latest financial results. In its testing phase, Shuffle Play has worked by picking content based on your viewing history, helping you avoid feeling overwhelmed by Netflix’s home screen full of content. Netflix’s COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said the feature is designed for users to “indicate to us that they just want to skip browsing entirely, click one button and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play.” During its tests of the feature, Netflix has experimented with including a “Shuffle Play” button on its... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Microsoft may have killed off its flagship MP3 player nearly a decade ago, but these fans are keeping their enthusiasm alive Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
An ultrathin notebook with fantastic battery life Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Nvidia is updating its Shield Android TV software to include support for the latest next-gen console controllers. If you own a Shield TV or Shield TV Pro device, you can now pair the PS5 DualSense or Xbox Series X controllers to play Android games or PC titles through Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service. To pair a PS5 DualSense controller, you can head into the Bluetooth section of the Shield TV, and then hold down the PlayStation button until the light pulses blue. For Xbox Series X / S controllers, you can hold the pairing button until the Xbox button starts blinking. Alongside the controller support, Nvidia is also adding Control4 home automation system support in this Shield TV 8.2.2 update. This allows the Control4 remote or app... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to make history today when they will be sworn into office as president and vice president. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and heightened security following this month’s deadly attack on the Capitol, Inauguration Day will be unlike any other before. Here’s how to watch and participate in the historic day’s events from home: When is the presidential inauguration? The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will begin on Wednesday, January 20th, in Washington, DC. Soon after Biden takes his oath of office, he will deliver an inaugural address outlining his vision for the next four years. What time does the... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Valve and five PC video game publishers have been fined a total of €7.8 million (around $9.5 million) by the European Commission for restricting cross-border game sales in the European Economic Area. The Commission said that the companies geo-blocked around 100 PC video games, preventing them from being activated and played outside certain EU countries. This broke the EU’s Digital Single Market rules which prohibit those types of barriers. The European Commission says the geo-blocking was to prevent games being activated outside Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Geo-blocking prevents gamers living in EU countries with higher average incomes from being able to save money buying them in EU states... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google is releasing a new version of Chrome this week that will improve its dark mode support, alongside removing FTP and Adobe Flash support. The dark mode improvements can be found on both Windows and Chrome OS. There are refinements to both the light and dark modes in Chrome OS, with the themes updated for the app launcher, quick settings, and shelf parts of Chrome OS. How To Geek also reports that the Windows 10 dark mode is improved with Chrome 88, with scroll bars finally appearing dark. Unfortunately, these are currently limited to the settings, bookmarks, history, and new tab pages of Chrome 88 and not across all websites with dark themes. Elsewhere, Google is also removing some old web technology in Chrome 88. The File... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google is investigating artificial intelligence researcher Margaret Mitchell, who co-leads the company’s Ethical AI team, and has locked her corporate account, Axios reports. The news comes a little over a month after another prominent AI ethicist, Timnit Gebru, said she was fired by the company. Mitchell’s account has now reportedly been locked for “at least a few days” but she hasn’t been fired, according to a tweet from Gebru. Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement given to Axios, Google said it was investigating Mitchell after its systems detected an account had “exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with multiple external accounts.” According to an Axios source, Mitchell had been... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
LG’s Wing smartphone. | Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge LG is considering exiting the smartphone market in 2021. After losing around $4.5 billion over the past five years, LG’s smartphone business has been struggling to compete with rivals. Now LG CEO Kwon Bong-seok has notified employees that the company is considering making big changes to its smartphone business. The Korea Herald reports that Kwon Bong-seok sent out an internal memo to staff on Wednesday, hinting at a change in direction for LG’s phone business. “Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” says an LG official in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale,... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Images: Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz threw back the curtain on the EQA crossover, its latest electric vehicle as part of a slate of new EVs that are being planned for the coming years. The compact SUV will have a range of less than 300 miles, a 66.5kWh battery pack, and a net list price of €39,950 ($48,442). The EQA, which is based on the German automaker’s GLA-class of SUVs, is scheduled to go into production this year in Europe, but likely won’t make it to the US anytime soon. That said, a spokesperson for Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, said the EQA is still being considered for the US market. American car buyers would do better waiting for the EQB electric crossover, which will be closely related to the boxier GLB-class vehicle. The EQB is also... Continue reading…

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