posted 6 days ago on the verge
On the surface, Diablo isn’t exactly what most people would call comforting. It’s a series about exploring dark realms and fighting all manner of undead and demonic monsters. But there’s something about its formula of exploring dungeons, gathering loot, and steadily becoming immensely powerful that makes it easy to jump into, despite the dark subject matter. That feeling of comfort is even more pronounced when you take that formula and apply it to a familiar world, like, say, the Marvel universe. Now, the same can be said of Minecraft. Minecraft Dungeons is exactly what it sounds like. It takes the bestselling series, strips away its two most iconic features (mining and crafting), and replaces them with a light, charming experience... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Microsoft created a fun Easter egg for its Edge browser to reveal the new logo last year, and it’s now available for everyone to play. The Edge surf game is very similar to SkiFree, a classic game that was released as part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows back in 1991. While it was used as part of an elaborate Easter egg hunt, where Microsoft employees posted cryptic clues to a series of puzzles and images, it’s now an official offline game inside Microsoft Edge. You can access it from edge://surf/ in the address bar in Edge. There are three modes available: a classic surf mode, a time trial, and a slalom mode where you surf between gates. The standard classic surf mode is an endless surfer mode where you have to avoid... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge T-Mobile subscribers can now send RCS messages to people on other phone networks, so long as everyone involved has an Android phone and support for the new messaging standard. There are still a bunch of caveats here, but this appears to be a big step forward for RCS. The messaging standard is meant to be the successor to SMS, but its rollout has been slow and messy. Many carriers — T-Mobile included — began supporting RCS years ago, but it generally only worked between subscribers of the same phone carrier and often only while they were using a specific carrier-made app, meaning it’s been basically useless. Today’s launch gets us a lot closer to a world where RCS just works. T-Mobile is supporting RCS Universal Profile 1.0, which is the... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
J.K. Rowling will stagger the release of her new children’s novel The Ickabog over the next seven weeks, publishing the book in tiny chapters online and making it available to readers for free. Rowling is hosting The Ickabog on a new website with anywhere from “a chapter (or two, or three)” being published at a time, according to Rowling’s note. The first two chapters are available to read now, and although there’s no description of what the story entails, The Ickabog seems to have more in common with traditional fairy tales. Picture faraway kingdoms with lords and kings. Although the idea came to her while she was writing her wildly successful Harry Potter series, that’s the one thing it is not. “It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
DJI’s first action camera is almost as good as the best GoPro, says reviewer Brent Rose. | Photo by Brent Rose for The Verge Today’s deals are a mix of low-priced gadgets made even more affordable as well as some high-end products that don’t usually see a discount. The biggest price cut is on DJI’s Osmo Action 4K HDR camera. It usually costs $500, but today at Amazon, you can get it for $288. The price reduction is impressive, but what makes this deal extra special is that the camera comes with a 128GB microSD card and DJI’s Care Refresh service plan that allows up to two replacement units in one year. Aukey’s 65W Omnia charger with two USB-C ports. Next is Aukey’s 65W Omnia GaN wall charger. Normally $50, it’s $38 over at Amazon if you check out with the offer code DETL5M4Y. This model features two USB-C ports, and it’s powerful enough to... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Image: Facebook Facebook is renaming Calibra, the digital wallet it hopes will one day be used to access the Libra digital currencies, Novi. In a blog post the company said that the new name was inspired by the Latin words “novus” and “via,” which mean “new” and “way,” respectively. Novi Financial is the new name of the Facebook subsidiary that will develop the company’s digital wallet. A new name is just the latest in a series of changes Facebook has made to its digital currency plans, which have faced intense regulatory pressure since their announcement last June. Although Facebook initially said that there would be a single Libra coin pegged to a collection of national currencies, it now plans to have multiple digital coins pegged to individual... Continue reading…

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posted 6 days ago on the verge
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield claimed earlier this month that Microsoft Teams isn’t a competitor to Slack. In an interview with The Verge, Butterfield has revealed that, inside Slack, the company feels that “Microsoft is perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with killing us, and Teams is the vehicle to do that.” Butterfield sat down with Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel for a wide-ranging interview that discusses Slack’s battles with Microsoft Teams, the future of Slack, new Slack features, and much more. It’s well worth a listen. Butterfield expands on why he thinks Microsoft is “unhealthily preoccupied” with Slack and compares Teams to more of a competitor to Zoom. Slack obviously has its own voice and video calling features, but it’s not... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / Th Slack is exploring a wide variety of new features that could be making their way to the popular messaging platform, including scheduled messages, Instagram-style stories, and short video and audio messages. According to CEO Stewart Butterfield in a recent interview on The Vergecast, the company has already “implemented APIs for scheduled sending of messages, and I think we’re going to end up putting that in the product at some point.” He also noted that competitors like G Suite already offer similar features. Butterfield also mentioned that the company is looking to add more tools to make it easier for users to “keep track of the things you want to get back to,” including the aforementioned scheduling tools and “more control over... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge Niantic Labs is adding a new augmented reality feature to Pokémon Go next month that will make the virtual creatures look even more realistic. The new feature will let real-world objects obscure parts of the pocket monsters or let them hide entirely behind environmental fixtures like trees or furniture. The company calls the feature “reality blending,” and it’s based on the AR technique known as occlusion, which uses a mix of hardware and software features on powerful, modern smartphones to map an environment and understand the shape and depth of real-world objects. Niantic says the feature will come first to Samsung Galaxy S9 and S10 devices as well as the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 4. More devices are expected to join the list in the... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: OnePlus The OnePlus 8 series can now run Fortnite at 90fps, thanks to a collaboration between OnePlus and Epic Games. The update makes these devices the first phones to run Fortnite at a smooth 90 frames per second. Most Android phones run Fortnite at a maximum of 60fps, similar to the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. Nintendo’s console, the Switch, falls behind with a maximum of 30 frames per second. Most Apple devices, including the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, have the option to run the game at 60fps, while the iPad Pro can also run the game at a max frame rate of 120fps, thanks to the tablet’s high refresh rate display. Enabling a higher frame rate on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro will default the graphical settings to “Low,” as noted by G... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge Spotify has finally removed its 10,000-song cap on library sizes, allowing users to add as much music as they’d like to their personal libraries without any limits at all, fixing a problem that has plagued music-lovers on the service for years. While Spotify has more than 50 million songs available to customers to stream at any time, until today, there was a hard limit of 10,000 songs that users could save to their own “Your Music” collections on Spotify for easy access. This is no more. After today, you can add as many songs as you like to your Liked Songs on @Spotify I've been working with a small team on the refactoring necessary to pull this off for a while now. Very happy to see this finally out. https://t.co/1nSExF5o3V— Felipe... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo illustration by William Joel | Photography by Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images A conversation on The Vergecast Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge YouTube is automatically deleting comments that contain certain Chinese-language phrases related to criticism of the country’s ruling Communist Party (CCP). Comments left under videos or in live streams that contain the words “共匪” (“communist bandit”) or “五毛” (“50-cent party”) are automatically deleted in around 15 seconds, though their English language translations and Romanized Pinyin equivalents are not. The term “共匪” is an insult that dates back to China’s Nationalist government, while “五毛,” (or “wu mao”) is a derogatory slang term for internet users paid to direct online discussion away from criticism of the CCP. The name comes from claims that such commenters are paid 50 Chinese cents per post. It’s not clear why these phrases... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
SpaceX It’s been a long road to get here Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Sony Sony has officially announced the ZV-1, a compact camera designed specifically for shooting video. Even more specifically than that, it’s designed for vlogging. It’s based on essentially the same core as the popular RX100 point-and-shoot camera line, but optimized for video with a few features that will appeal to people who regularly need to shoot footage of themselves. The Sony ZV-1 will retail for $799.99 but will have an intro price of $749.99 through June 28th. It should begin shipping on June 11th. Sony is debuting a few new focus modes for the ZV-1 that are meant specifically for vloggers. One is a one-button setting for “Background Defocus,” which automatically sets the camera up for the maximum bokeh in the background. It’s a... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Instacart promises a safer way to shop, but workers tell a different story Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Kim Shiflett / NASA Takeoff is scheduled for 4:33PM ET on May 27th Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
ARM has announced its latest high-end mobile designs, the Cortex-A78 CPU and the Mali-G78 GPU, which will be used to power the next flagship smartphones of 2021 and beyond. ARM isn’t usually advertised on the spec sheets of your new smartphone or tablet, but it’s a critical company. It provides the designs that chipmakers like Qualcomm, Huawei, and Samsung use to create the system-on-a-chip designs that power nearly every mobile phone and tablet — and increasingly, laptops like the Surface Pro X. Double-digit improvements in CPU and GPU performance Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865, for example, uses partially customized versions of the ARM Cortex-A77 and Cortex-A55 designs for its Kryo 585 CPU, while Samsung’s Exynos 990 uses Cortex-A76 and... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
The most fun you can have with a door Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
The feature is intended for use with smart speakers and displays, according to Google. | Image: Android Police Google Assistant’s Voice Match feature can now secure purchases made through its voice assistant as part of a limited pilot program. A spokesperson from the company confirmed to Android Police that the functionality is new, and is designed to help secure purchases made on smart speakers and smart displays. At the moment, it’s restricted to in-app digital purchases through Google Play, as well as restaurant orders. When we followed the instructions shown on Google’s support page to enable the feature we only saw the option to enable the assistant’s existing fingerprint or face unlock security methods. Other users have reported that they were able to see the Voice Match menu option, but that the software froze when they tried to enable it.... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Realme has a new high-end phone, and for the first time ever the brand is bringing it to Europe before its usual stomping ground of India. The Realme X3 Superzoom is launching in Spain and the UK first, as are more of the company’s new products including the Realme Watch and the Realme Band. As you’d expect from the name, the X3 Superzoom’s key feature is a periscope zoom lens, a feature that’s so far only featured on expensive flagship devices like the Oppo Find X2 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. This lens is paired with an 8-megapixel sensor and offers 5x magnification over the primary 64-megapixel camera; the quad-camera array is filled out by an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro. The X3 Superzoom has a... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
XRSpace XRSpace, a company led by former HTC head Peter Chou, plans to launch a new virtual reality headset later this year. The headset is dubbed the Mova, and it’s supposed to ship in the third quarter of 2020 for $599. Its selling points include 5G support, a hand tracking interface, and an expansive virtual world called Manova. But it sharply bucks the trend of cheaper, more interoperable VR platforms — opting for a specialized system at a fairly high price. The Mova is a self-contained headset that’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It looks similar to the Oculus Quest or the business-oriented HTC Vive Focus, although it’s slicker than either of them and gives users a choice of white or bright orange. It uses two cameras to... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Adam Sandler hasn’t acted in many dramas, but those he stars in tend to exceed expectations. Uncut Gems is no different. Josh and Benny Safdie’s critically acclaimed independent film, which stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, New York City jeweler with a gambling addiction who risks it all on a rare stone, Kevin Garnett, and a 2012 Celtics game, is now streaming on Netflix in the United States. The streamer is a co-producer of the film alongside indie hit maker, A24. Uncut Gems was available to stream on Netflix in international territories prior to today. Uncut Gems was named one of 2019’s best films by a number of critics, and many considered the lack of recognition by award bodies for Sandler as a major snub. The anxiety-inducing film... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Avery White for The Verge A new version of the Motorola Razr foldable could launch this year, and it might have 5G, a bigger battery, and improved cameras (via 9to5Google). Those could address some of the many criticisms of the original model, which came out in February. Surprisingly, this apparent new version of the Razr may have been revealed by an executive from Lenovo, which is owned by Motorola, reports Android Authority. Lenovo’s South Africa general manager Thibault Dousson appeared on the Reframed Tech podcast and said a new Razr could be coming around September. “A whole new Razr” “There’s a new iteration [of the Razr] coming out. From what I understand, there’s one in September, I think, coming out,” he said shortly after the 18-minute mark on the... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo: Amazon Amazon’s Lab126, the hardware group responsible for developing the company’s Kindle e-reader and its Echo smart speaker, is hiring engineers to work on its COVID-19 testing initiative, according to job listings first reported by GeekWire on Monday. As of right now, Amazon is contracting with existing labs to process nasal swabs and saliva samples to test its workforce for the novel coronavirus. But Amazon’s ultimate goal is to build a robust testing network with a central testing hub, and these new hires are being brought on to help build that. “Lab126 began in 2004 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., originally creating the best-selling Kindle family of products. Since then, we have produced groundbreaking devices like Fire tablets,... Continue reading…

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