posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: Mondadori via Getty Images James Dean is making his return to the big screen more than 60 years after dying in a car crash, thanks to two VFX companies. Finding Jack is a movie set within the Vietnam-era that is “based on the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dean isn’t the leading role, but his performance as “Rogan” is “considered a secondary lead role,” according to the Reporter. Finding Jack marks the first movie that Dean will star in since Giant in 1956, just one year after his iconic role as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause. Magic City Films, the company producing the movie, obtained the rights to Dean’s image from his family. The goal is to re-create “a... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: Tumblr Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature that will allow different fandoms on the site to chat more easily with each other instead of replying on re-blogs. The “group chats” are public spaces, meaning that anyone can find and read them, though only approved members can send messages. People should notice a new group chat icon in the upper right-hand corner of Tumblr’s app starting today. Group chats aren’t meant for private DM sessions with Tumblr pals. The idea is to give people in niche communities a chance to create dedicated spaces to talk about their interests that are more immediate and interactive than simply re-blogging someone else’s post. Whether it’s memes or therapy or BoJack Horseman, this allows a larger body of... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: ABC 15 Uber did not have a formal safety plan in place at the time when one of its self-driving cars killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, last year, according to a trove of new documents released by the National Traffic Safety Board on Tuesday. Its autonomous vehicles were not programmed to react to people who were jaywalking, and the company had been involved in over three dozen crashes prior to the one that killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in March 2018. These new details cast a harsh light on Uber’s self-driving vehicle program, which has tentatively restarted testing after shutting down in the wake of the March 18th crash. And they set the stage for a potentially contentious hearing later this month when NTSB will decide the probable causes... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Tesla will finally unveil its long-awaited electric pickup truck on November 21st, Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday. The truck, which Musk has dubbed “Cybertruck,” is supposed to look like something straight out of Blade Runner, the CEO has said. The truck will be unveiled at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles, California, which sits on the same lot as SpaceX’s headquarters. Musk originally planned on revealing the pickup truck earlier this year, but he announced in September that he was pushing the event back to November. Musk has said the forthcoming pickup truck has a “heart-stopping” design, with better utility than a Ford F-150 and superior performance to a basic Porsche 911. The idea of a Tesla pickup truck has been kicked around... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Recently, a friend told me he wanted to spend more time using Twitter, but he didn’t quite know how. His primary interest is comedy, he told me, and he hoped to find a way to see comedians’ best jokes on Twitter as they were posted. But when he followed comedians, he mostly saw a lot of self-promotion — tour dates, late-night appearances, and that sort of thing. No matter your personal interests, there are countless good and relevant tweets on Twitter. But where are they? Topics, a new feature from Twitter that is starting to roll out this week, represents a significant effort to answer that question. You will be able to follow more than 300 “topics” across sports, entertainment, and gaming, just as you are currently able to follow... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Razer has announced two wireless versions of its ergonomic Basilisk gaming mouse: the Basilisk Ultimate and Basilisk X Hyperspeed. Sitting next to each other, they look almost identical, but one is $149 and the other is $59. The Basilisk Ultimate is Razer’s premium mouse that’s made for people who want more features and LEDs. The other option, the Basilisk X Hyperspeed, is a solid, comfortable mouse that supports Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, and it has truly incredible battery life. It’s a more pared-down mouse in terms of features, inside and out, but at $59, it might become a very popular option for gamers and non-gamers alike. Diving first into what the Ultimate offers: it focuses on features that serious gamers might appreciate,... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Five years ago today, Amazon surprised the tech press by unveiling Alexa and the Echo, its first smart speaker. “Well this one came out of nowhere,” was the reaction of Verge reporter Chris Welch. Five years later, Alexa is a household name — literally. If you have children and an Alexa device, they probably know how to ask the robot to play their favorite songs at breakfast. You might have Alexa in your kitchen, on your bedside table, or even in your car. But half a decade after Alexa launched, there’s a lingering question: has Amazon’s assistant actually become more useful? Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge Years later, I still use my Echo for the same basic jobs. For me, the answer is a clear “no.” I... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge Niantic Labs is bringing some of its next-generation augmented reality tech out of the experimental phase. The company today announced that a live multiplayer feature for Pokémon Go called Buddy Adventure will make its way to the mobile AR game sometime in the next few months. The feature is based on Niantic’s Codename: Neon multiplayer AR technology, which it first showed off last year. It effectively allows two separate devices to create interactive AR objects within the same frame so that two players of a game like Pokémon Go can each see the same AR objects when viewing the world through their iOS or Android camera lens. With Buddy Adventure, Niantic says Pokémon Go players will be able to pick a buddy pokémon to pair with, using... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment Jay “Sinatraa” Won is going to have to buy a bigger trophy case. The 19-year-old professional Overwatch player spent this year winning just about everything he possibly could. It started when he was named MVP for the 2019 Overwatch League season, which he followed by winning the league championship as the driving force behind the San Francisco Shock. This weekend, he added to his accolades as Team USA won the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon, and Won was once again named the most valuable player. This level of success ranks among the best individual seasons in the history of e-sports — but when asked about it, Won doesn’t seem too surprised. “It definitely exceeded my expectations,” he says of 2019, “but not by that much.” Won has been... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Leica SL2 with 50mm f/1.4 Summilux lens Leica has announced the new SL2, the latest version of its full-frame mirrorless camera system. The new SL2 succeeds the SL from 2015 and introduces a higher-resolution sensor, upgraded construction, a new touchscreen, and an upgraded electronic viewfinder. It will be available starting on November 21st for $5,995. The design of the SL2 will be familiar to anyone who’s seen the SL, though there are some subtle changes. The mid-chassis is now magnesium, with aluminum for the top and bottom and a leatherette covering that goes all around the midsection. The SL2 is rated for IP54 dust and water resistance, and it has an updated control scheme on the back that matches the Q2, M10, and CL. Mounted on the back are a new 3.2-inch, 2.1-megapixel... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Today, Apple refreshed apple.com/privacy, its webpages that explain what the company does to protect your privacy. They’re much easier to read, letting you skim through a list of individual Apple apps to see what each one does to protect your personal data. Previously, if you looked at that URL, you’d find Apple’s generic statement about how it protected your personal information, followed by a bunch of info in a confusing order, with a hard-to-read two-column layout on any but the skinniest of window sizes. Apple’s new pages still lead with a generic statement about privacy, but it’s now much easier to understand what each app does to protect your privacy on an app-by-app basis. Here are some screenshots of what the new privacy pages... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
The Studio is a great-sounding smart speaker that has some silly gimmicks you can thankfully ignore Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales Behind Color Factory, one of the photogenic pop-ups trying to conquer the experience economy Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: HBO There are plenty of things that baffle me about American culture, none more so than the tradition of having to share a room with a stranger when you go away to college. If you’re currently suffering through exactly that, then HBO has a promotional product for you. It’s called the HBO Box, and as far as I can tell, it’s basically a big black cardboard box with air holes and a couple of cutouts to stick your legs through. The idea is that you lie back on your bed with the upper half of your body encased in the box, leaving you free to watch whatever you want on your phone without having to worry about your roommate being able to peer over your shoulder. They’ll probably still be able to hear you, though, because, as I said, it’s a... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
A deep dive into the Surface Pro X experience Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Yesterday Xiaomi unveiled the CC9 Pro, the first phone to use the 108-megapixel image sensor the company co-developed with Samsung. The CC9 Pro won’t be sold outside of China, but today Xiaomi is announcing that a near-identical phone called the Mi Note 10 will. The Mi Note 10 is being revealed in Spain today and will likely make it to the UK, other European countries, and India. There doesn’t appear to be any difference in the hardware, but as you’d expect the Note 10 will run MIUI atop Google-approved Android, with the CC9 Pro using Xiaomi’s own apps and services in China. Xiaomi often gives its products different names and release schedules around the world — just look at the saga of the excellent but confusing Mi 9T/Redmi K20/Redmi... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: UPS UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward has just completed what it claims is a first for the US drone delivery market — delivering prescription medication directly to a customer’s home by drone. On November 1st, the company flew the medication from a pharmacy in North Carolina to a home, before making a second delivery to a nearby retirement community. The deliveries were made in partnership with CVS Pharmacy, as well as Matternet, a drone logistics company. The flight was made autonomously, but was monitored by a remote operator who was able to take over if the drone experienced any difficulties. When it arrived, the Matternet M2 drone hovered 20 feet above the property, before slowly lowering its package via a cable. The hope is that drone... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge On Monday we talked about some of the pressures stacking up on TikTok: increasing skepticism from Congress about its Chinese parent company ByteDance; a raft of new competitors slurping up venture capital and building their own short-form video apps powered by machine learning; and the public-perception risk that comes from keeping executives behind the scenes and responding to questions primarily via blog post. Well, today there was a new blog post. In it, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s general manager for the United States, laid out her case that the management team behind the app is and will remain independent of demands from the Chinese government. The company is building out a US-based leadership team, a US-based content moderation... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: Fossil Fossil’s new hybrid smartwatches combine physical watch hands with a circular low-power, always-on display. The $195 (£189) Fossil HR has a monochromatic display, which is capable of showing the kind of information you’d typically expect to see on a smartwatch — including activity tracking, weather information, and app notifications — all while being power-efficient enough that the watch offers a battery life of around two weeks. Back when news of these smartwatches leaked in September, there was speculation that they used the secret smartwatch tech that Google paid Fossil $40 million for at the beginning of the year. However, Fossil said these watches are unrelated to that deal. “There is no relation between the IP Fossil sold to Google... Continue reading…

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posted 7 days ago on the verge
Image: Wyze Wyze has announced a new subscription service for its home security cameras — although it’s delayed the launch due to unspecified “critical issues.” Soon, instead of limiting users to 12 seconds of recording every five minutes, subscribers to Wyze’s $1.49 a month Complete Motion Capture service will be able to record for as long as the camera can sense movement. The launch of the new subscription plan makes Wyze’s cameras much more competitive with the likes of Nest, Arlo, and Ring, which have all offered subscription services with cloud recording for a while. However, Wyze’s prices are cheaper than its competitors. Ring and Arlo’s plans start at around $3 a month per device, or $10 for multiple devices, while Nest’s subscription plan... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Amazon’s truly wireless Echo Buds earbuds are excellent for their $130 price, to the point that they were the elephant in the room when we reviewed Apple’s new AirPods Pro. And they managed that resounding feat without one of their biggest rumored features — the ability to double as a fitness tracker and measure the calories you’ve burned. But don’t rule out fitness tracking just yet, because CNBC and The Verge both spotted a new “Fitness” tab in the Echo Buds section of the Alexa app today. You can see a few screenshots from our app below: While we’re waiting on an Amazon spokeperson to confirm whether we should actually be excited for more functionality — or if this just a vestigial component of an earlier test — CNBC’s Todd Haselton s... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Facebook says that even after it locked down its Groups system last year, some app developers retained improper access to information about members. A company blog post reports that roughly 100 developers might have accessed user information since Facebook changed its rules in April of 2018, and at least 11 accessed member data in the last 60 days. It says it’s now cut all partners off from that data. Facebook Group administrators can use third-party tools to manage their groups, giving apps information about its activity. Since the changes last year, developers shouldn’t be able to see individual members’ names, profile pictures, or unspecified other profile data. Facebook platform partnerships head Konstantinos Papamiltiadis says a... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge For the past 10 years, any regulation of social media companies in the United States has moved at a glacial pace. But when it comes to TikTok, the government is moving with unusual speed. It has been less than two weeks since two senators first asked the director of national intelligence to look into whether TikTok, the looping short-form video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, poses a security risk to the United States. On Friday, the investigation entered phase two: an inquiry into whether ByteDance might be forced divest Musical.ly, an American app that ByteDance acquired in 2017 for $1 billion and helped form the basis for TikTok. Greg Roumeliotis, Yingzhi Yang, Echo Wang, and Alexandra Alper had the exclusive at Reuters: The... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Smart home company August is once again selling its View video doorbell, a product it pulled from shelves just three weeks after launching in April due to connectivity issues. An August spokesperson tells The Verge the company has “made improvements to the doorbell cam’s connectivity, video quality and operation speed (faster notifications and device wake-up time) based on early user feedback.” Our original review specifically called out the poor connectivity as one of the gadget’s downsides keeping it from competing with Amazon’s Ring line. At the time, August took the unique approach of letting customers who had purchased the View video doorbell keep the device and get a full refund, so long as they provided August with some... Continue reading…

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posted 8 days ago on the verge
Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge The Google Pixel and Pixel XL will get “one final software update” in December, the company confirms to The Verge. As of yesterday, it looked like the original Pixel was done getting updates, as Google released its November security update for most Pixel phones, but nothing for the Pixel or Pixel XL. Google tells The Verge that the Pixels won’t get that November update, but it says December’s “encapsulates a variety of updates” from the November and December updates that were issued for other Pixels. It wasn’t too surprising to see that Google’s original Pixels didn’t get yesterday’s update. When Google announced the phones in 2016, the company said they would get two years of guaranteed Android version updates and three years of... Continue reading…

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