Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge
Fortnite’s big chapter-ending event just ended, and it was a big one. After an all-out war against UFOs, zombies, and the Cube Queen, players were saved in a rescue mission led by Dwayne Johnson. (Well, his in-game character.) Then, the island flipped over.
Let’s back up a bit. The game’s latest season has been all about the cubes, and right when the event loaded up, a mysterious giant blue cube spawned on the map next to all of the players in my lobby. Jumping at the cube bounced players away, but it otherwise, didn’t do anything beyond loom ominously. We also could look at the Cube Queen in the distance, which has been floating in an energy ball over the center of the island for part of the season.
The Game Awards
Geoff Keighley, the executive producer and host of The Game Awards, sent out a tweet to confirm that outside of its nominations, Activision Blizzard “will not be a part of this year’s #TheGameAwards.” This is in light of claims about the company’s toxic culture, as well as allegations of CEO Bobby Kotick’s history of abuse and harassment.
Beyond its nominations, I can confirm that Activision|Blizzard will not be a part of this year’s #TheGameAwards
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) December 4, 2021
In an interview with The Washington Post, Keighley hinted at Activision Blizzard’s potential removal from the award show, noting that he was contemplating how to “navigate” the situation with the company without harming its developers or...
Spotify has pulled the works of some of the most popular comedians, including Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, John Mulaney, and Jim Gaffigan due to a royalties dispute. First reported by The Wall Street Journal, a number of high-profile entertainers are pursuing royalty payments for their jokes when they’re played on the radio, as well as on services like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, and SiriusXM.
After failed negotiations with Spoken Giants, Spotify removed hundreds of comedians’ content from the service
The comics’ efforts are backed by global rights administration company, Spoken Giants, which works to ensure that entertainers are properly compensated for spoken-word content. As the WSJ notes, comedians are typically paid by their label...
Spider-Man appears to be coming to_Fortnite._ | Image: Streamable video
Fortnite’s Chapter 2 comes to an end on Saturday, but a trailer for Chapter 3 has already leaked, reportedly from Epic Games’ Polish YouTube channel (via Kotaku). Based on the trailer, the next chapter is poised to be a significant update, adding a brand new island, new mechanics, and your friendly island Spider-Man.
— GalaxyBoi ❄️ (@DaRealGalaxyBoi) December 4, 2021
The Chapter 3 island looks to have a lot of new areas to explore, including the Daily Bugle and a location reminiscent of the Aztec-themed Sunny Steps from Fortnite’s first chapter. There appear to be new ways to get around, such as sliding down hills to get...
Illustration by Alex Castro
Twitter has reportedly suspended a number of accounts by mistake after far-right extremists began exploiting the platform’s new private media policy, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The platform has since launched an internal review of the matter and has made the necessary corrections, The Post notes. Twitter’s new policy, which allows individuals to request takedowns of photos or videos that contain them, has become the target of far-right activists who seek to remove pictures of them taken at hate rallies. The platform originally said that the rule was put in place to “curb the misuse of media to harass, intimate, and reveal the identities of private individuals,” which Twitter says disproportionately affects “women,...
Image: Ludwig via YouTube
Just three days after Ludwig Ahgren left his massive Twitch following for YouTube, he was hit with what he thought was a suspension from the platform. According to a report from Kotaku, Ahgren was playing other YouTube videos during his stream, when he landed on the infamously catchy Baby Shark song. His stream was shut down shortly thereafter, giving his viewers — and himself — the impression that he was banned for violating YouTube’s copyright policies.
you could say the switch has been going well... pic.twitter.com/dnkjSUkT0o
— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 3, 2021
However, Ahgren wasn’t actually struck with a copyright strike or a suspension. “Ludwig wasn’t suspended,” Lauren Verrusio, the head of creator and consumer...
Buy two, get one free
Best Buy is still hosting its mix-and-match sale featuring some excellent titles from the Nintendo Switch game library. Right now you can get a third game of equal or lesser value for free if you buy two other select titles. This offer includes first-party titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Tennis: Aces that rarely see discounts. While this offer is limited to 11 titles, this is one of the best ways to stock up on games that are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
While not quite as enticing as Black Friday prices, Best Buy has discounted all models of the 11-inch iPad Pro that launched in 2020, with some versions receiving discounts of up to $200. This tablet is available with up to 1TB of built-in storage and...
Image: Activision Blizzard
One of the studios responsible for Call of Duty’s success is laying off QA testers that are reportedly earning $17 an hour for their work on the franchise Activision Blizzard said brought in $3 billion dollars in 2020. Raven Software, known for its work on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and CoD: Warzone has now laid off a third of its contract QA testers, according to reports by Kotaku and The Washington Post.
Raven’s Associate Community Manager Austin O’Brien said that team members were being called into individual meetings to be told whether or not they would still have a job come January 28th. So far, the company has reportedly laid off about a third of its QA testers, or around a dozen people, but it’s possible more could follow_...._
Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
In March 2020, Bandcampstarted a promotion where it would forego taking a revenue share from sales artists made on its platform, providing some additional support to performers with suddenly limited opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The arrangement turned into a monthly event, as Bandcamp Fridays encouraged fans to keep the support coming by purchasing audio tracks and merchandise over the last two years.
Bandcamp pledged to keep things going throughout 2021 and has dutifully turned off its cut on the first Friday of each month. The only question left is, what happens next? The note about Bandcamp Friday sticking around for 2021 is no longer included on the blog post announcing the promotion, and no one has updated...
The individual user profiles that were expected to arrive on Google TV last month have been delayed, meaning those personalized content recommendations are unfortunately on hold.
The company had initially said the new user profiles would arrive on Google TV last month, but Google spokesperson Ivy Hunt tells The Verge today that the profiles will now begin rolling out “in the coming months.” News of the delay was earlier reported by 9to5Google.
That’s a bit of a bummer for multi-user households who were looking forward to profile features like customized watchlists, personalized help from Google Assistant, and weeding out the content interests of others using the same device (e.g., roommates, kids, etc. — although Google previously...
Google Photos’ Locked Folder feature, which promises to keep sensitive photos out of your main photo roll, is starting to roll out to non-Pixel phones, according to Android Police. Google said in September that the feature would be rolling out to more Android phones “soon,” and it’s reportedly started to show up on some Samsung and OnePlus devices, according to Android Central. Older Pixel devices that didn’t originally get access to it are also getting it now, based on our tests.
The feature lets you choose specific photos or videos and put them in a passcode or biometrics-locked folder, taking them out of your main photo feed and keeping them off the cloud. It was introduced on Google’s own phones (Pixel 3 and up) in June, after being...
A screenshot from_Halo Infinite’s_multiplayer beta. | Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer beta has been a blast so far, but one common criticism is that you can’t pick a dedicated playlist for Slayer, the game’s deathmatch mode. Fortunately, that will be changing soon, but not until next year.
343 Industries community manager John Junyszek tweeted Friday that a Social Slayer playlist is in the works, but it won’t be ready until after the holidays. Junyszek also said 343 is aiming to add Fiesta, Tactical Slayer (SWAT), and Free-For-All playlists “before the end of the year.”
Let's talk about Halo Infinite playlists!
We've been reading your feedback, and we're working on plans to add Fiesta, Tactical Slayer (SWAT), and Free-For-All playlists as we speak. They won't land by Dec 8, but the team is...
Snowflakes and doorbells, the perfect duo | Image: Google
Google announced this Wednesday on its Nest community blog the return of holiday-themed ringtones for Nest Doorbells (via 9to5Google). Visitors arriving for family holiday gatherings can now press the Nest Doorbell and be greeted with sounds of the holidays, including “Winter,” Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s jingles.
Time to give your #NestDoorbell ringtone some holiday cheer.
— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) December 1, 2021
Google did have holiday bell options last year as well — but...
Did you know the YouTube app on your older Chromecast has a hidden remote control that lets you surface an entire YouTube app that you can scroll?
You just need to start casting something to your TV in the YouTube app with the Cast button up top — then hit the Cast button a second time to access a menu where you’ll find a button labeled Remote. Then, you get a full D-pad to move around, a voice search button, and the all-important Back button you’ll need to back out of that video and access a full YouTube interface.
The best gaming laptop is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales/ The Verge
The best gaming laptop at every size and price
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Twitter’s new CEO is reorganizing the company, with two top executives being removed as part of the shakeup. A regulatory document explains that Twitter is restructuring its Consumer, Revenue, and Core Tech divisions under individual leaders in an attempt to “drive increased accountability, speed, and operational efficiency.” Kayvon Beykpour, Bruce Falck, and Nick Caldwell will lead those three teams.
As part of the change, Twitter’s engineering lead, Michael Montano, and its design and research lead, Dantley Davis, will be leaving their positions at the end of the year.
Courtney Love, ladies and gentlemen | Photo by Francesco Prandoni/Redferns
Courtney Love Cobain, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, and Kendall Roy are all in the running to be Friday’s Main Character on Twitter after a single tweet where the queen of ’90s grunge music Twitter-scolded the Tesla CEO for his mean reply to the Vermont senator (we’ll get to Kendall in a sec).
According to Love, she was bcc’d on Musk’s “str8, male, PayPal mafia email group” for months. “With that information in mind, don’t you think in a ‘civilized society’ one should embrace paying our fair share of tax?” she tweeted on Thursday. She attached a screengrab of Musk’s November 14th reply to Sanders’ tweet that asserted, “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.” Being one of those extremely wealthies, Musk...
Valve’s Steam Deck handheld won’t have any exclusive games, but it is slowly filling in some holes in its Windows game library — Valve saysArma 3,DayZ, Unturned, and Planetside 2 now have functioning BattlEye anti-cheat when you’re using the Proton compatibility layer to play Windows games in Linux. That brings the total to six games, including Ark: Survival Evolved and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.(Those two already had support as of November 8th.)
That compatibility is important for Linux in general (and the Steam Deck handheld specifically) because they don’t play Windows games out of the box unless they work with Proton, and third-party anti-cheat software is known to interfere.
But for two of the most popular flavors of...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
At least nine employees of the US State Department working in or with Uganda had their iPhones hacked with spyware made by NSO Group, according to a report from Reuters. While it’s unclear who carried out the attacks, NSO Group says it only sells its software to government organizations that have gotten approval from the Israeli government.
NSO has claimed that its spyware isn’t able to target US phone numbers (that is, numbers with a country code of +1). This case doesn’t seem to disprove that claim — Reuters reports that, while the people targeted were employees of the State Department, they were using foreign telephone numbers. Still, the devices were used for official State Department business, suggesting NSO may now be implicated...
Warehouses in Redlands, California, U.S., on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. | Roger Kisby/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Warehouses are increasingly dominating the commercial building landscape in the US, which could have ramifications for efforts to tackle climate change. According to data recently released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), warehouses and storage units have become the most common commercial buildings in the country — outpacing offices. That has the potential to cause greenhouse gas emissions to climb or tumble, and it largely hinges on whether warehouses can ditch natural gas.
Compared to office buildings, warehouses that store everything from food to clothes tend to rely more heavily on gas heating systems because upfront costs of those systems are cheap, and they’re easy to install, an expert tells The Verge _._Even...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Facebook parent company Meta is introducing a built-in bill splitting feature in Facebook Messenger that it will test with users in the US beginning next week. The feature could be useful for situations like divvying up a restaurant bill with your friends or splitting a bill with roommates.
With the feature, you can ask for money from people right in a group chat and see who has paid their portion of the request. You can see how it all works in a series of screenshots below from Meta. The feature arrives shortly after David Marcus, Meta’s cryptocurrency chief and former Messenger lead, announced he would be leaving the company.
Facebook Messenger’s upcoming bill splitting feature.
Meta has also...
Northrop Grumman space station | Image: Northrop Grumman
NASA announced the selection of three US companies that will receive government funding to furtherdevelop private space stations on Thursday. From a set of 11 proposals, NASA selected Blue Origin, Nanoracks LLC, and Northrop Grumman to receive over $400 million in federal funds through three separate Space Act Agreements.
NASA began seeking proposals in July for its Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development (CLD) program, which aims to support the development of commercial space stations. It is a part of a bigger plan to eventually replace the International Space Station (ISS) with commercial space stations. Through this model, NASA would be a customer of the commercial space industry, allowing it to save on costs and focus on basic...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Buried deep within Facebook’s November report on Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior is a tale of international intrigue that seems more like a Netflix drama than an attempted disinformation campaign (although the way Netflix mines social media for ideas these days, maybe stay tuned). On July 24th, a Swiss biologist named Wilson Edwards claimed on Facebook and Twitter that the US was pressuring World Health Organization (WHO) scientists studying the origins of COVID-19.
His claims spread quickly on social media, as such claims are wont to do, and within a week’s time, the Global Times and People’s Daily, two state-run Chinese media outlets, were denouncing Wilson Edwards’ claims as “intimidation” by the US. Wilson Edwards created his...
Walmart’s Gamer Drop prominently features the big three new consoles that are difficult to get. | Image: Walmart
Walmart has announced a new Gamer Drop event coming to select stores on December 11th, where the retailer is promising to have the latest gaming titles and consoles. This marks the first in-store console restock from Walmart, and it’s billing it as a holiday shopping event, complete with discounts and exclusive gear.
Details are a bit sparse, but the posted circular on Walmart’s website prominently features the major consoles, including the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, Xbox Series X / S, and both models of the PlayStation 5 with the note of “Available in-store or online at Walmart.com/GamerDrop.”
This event is exclusive to select Walmart stores. You can find the closest Walmart that’s participating in the Gamer Drop event on Saturday,...
24 face with tears of joy emoji, each more terrifying than the last.
Until recently, I was a firm believer in the traditional smiley emoji. “It’s cute!” I used to think, as I happily used it to indicate my gentle amusement at everything from puns to fun weekend plans. But apparently, this was a mistake, and when I thought I was expressing sincere happiness, I was actually sending an emoji that’s “colossally insulting in every conceivable way,” according to The Guardian.
It seems the rest of the world agrees, and the “slightly smiling face,” to use its full name, doesn’t feature in the top 10 of the most used emoji in 2021. In fact, according to data from the Unicode Consortium, the slightly smiling face isn’t even in the top 20. It’s down at number 28, sandwiched between “clapping hands” and “flushed...
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Sony is planning to create an Xbox Game Pass-like subscription service, according to Bloomberg. The company already offers two subscription services, PlayStation Plus (which is required for the majority of online multiplayer games) and PlayStation Now (which offers a catalog of games to download or stream), and they will reportedly be merged in this new offering. Sony will likely keep the PlayStation Plus brand, reporter Jason Schreier said on Twitter, but “phase out” PlayStation Now.
This new service, which is codenamed Spartacus, would have three tiers. One would offer current PlayStation Plus perks, another would include a catalog of PS4 and “eventually” PS5 games, and a third would have “extended demos, game streaming and a library...
Arcane isn’t just one of the best new animated shows on Netflix — it’s also a great introduction to the vast and often inscrutable world of League of Legends. If you’ve finished the show and have found yourself intrigued by the fantasy realm of Runeterra, you might be wondering where to go next. There are a few options, but thankfully developer Riot has just released a new role-playing game that’s a perfect next step for budding fans.
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is available now on the Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and it’s a bite-sized RPG that lets you explore a different part of League mythology. It stars a handful of iconic characters — including the hulking Braum and the kraken-wielding priestess Illaoi — and lets you...
A new report says Amazon charges small businesses fees that eat into profits | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
The massive reach of Amazon’s e-commerce platform is appealing for any small business that wants to sell its products online. But a new report suggests that the cost of doing business can become a Faustian bargain for a third-party seller, as the fees that Amazon charges them can quickly eat into profits.
Amazon Toll Road, a report from the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), found that Amazon charged third-party sellers a total of $121 billion in fees this year alone. According to the report, written by ILSR co-director Stacy Mitchell, those fees — for things like advertising, referrals, and shipping — usually mean that small businesses lose money to Amazon; Mitchell said that in 2014, sellers paid Amazon $19 of every...
Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is compatible with all iPhone 12 and 13 models. | Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge
Today marks one week since Black Friday (good riddance). The shopping weekend and Thanksgiving holiday may already feel as though they happened ages ago, but some deals have stuck around while new ones continue to crop up. We can’t stop time from flying by, but we can keep serving you the best tech deals possible.
Kicking things off, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack has reached a new all-time low price. The portable battery was released in the summer, and it didn’t take long to see some decent discounts. Now, just in time for holiday gifting, you can pick up the MagSafe Battery Pack for $75 at Amazon or Best Buy — a whole $25 off. This battery pack may not be able to fill an iPhone 12 or 13 from empty, but it’s one of the handiest ways to...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Twitter has removed a total of 2,160 accounts linked to Chinese regional and state propaganda campaigns, the social network has announced as part of its latest data release on misinformation campaigns. The accounts were attempting to push back against allegations of human rights abuses by the Chinese government against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.
Alongside it, Twitter has also detailed a campaign it discovered in Tanzania, which used copyright complaints to harass members and supporters of the FichuaTanzania human rights group.
Twitter says 2,048 of the accounts “amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population,” while a further 112 were connected to a private company backed by the...
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge
Falcodrin tells us the average gamer has barely any chance
Jimmy Wales / Christie’s
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is selling a non-fungible token (or NFT) based on his first edit of the free encyclopedia. Auction house Christie’s will hold a sale of the token from December 3rd to 15th, auctioning it alongside the Strawberry iMac Wales was using around Wikipedia’s launch. The funds will go toward charitable causes and WT.Social, a donation-backed social network that Wales launched in 2019.
Wales’ NFT is effectively the keys to a very early version of Wikipedia, which debuted in January of 2001. “What you see displayed is what Wikipedia looked like at the moment that I set up the software,” he tells The Verge. The single page will be launched publicly on the web, and much like Wikipedia itself, anyone will be able to...
Microsoft is backtracking on changes it made to Windows 11 that made it more difficult to switch default browsers. A new test build of Windows 11 now allows users of Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers to set a default browser with a single button, which is a far simpler process.
Rafael Rivera, developer of the excellent EarTrumpet Windows app, discovered the new Windows 11 changes earlier this week. Instead of having to change individual file extensions or protocol handlers for HTTP, HTTPS, HTML, and HTM, Windows 11 now offers a simple button that lets people switch default browsers in a similar way to Windows 10.
Microsoft has confirmed the changes are intentional and are currently being tested. “In the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build...
Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench. | Image: Jamal Hinton
Five years after Jamal Hinton secured himself a seat at Wanda Dench’s thanksgiving dinner thanks to a wrong number, their story is being turned into a Netflix feature film, the streaming giant has announced. The Thanksgiving Text will be written by Abdul Williams (The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story), but_Variety_notes that a cast or director are yet to be announced.
The Thanksgiving Text is the latest example of a film drawing inspiration from viral online content. Perhaps most notably, Zola turned viral Twitter thread #TheStory into a surprisingly good feature-length movie. This 2015 article from Gizmodo has plenty of other examples, including Bad Ass, a film loosely based on the viral video “AC Transit Bus Fight,” and the...
James Bareham / The Verge
A new update to Pokémon Go for iOS lets you run the game at higher frame rates. With version 1.191.0’, the “advanced settings” section of the app now includes an option that reads “Unlock your device’s native refresh rate for higher FPS.”
I tried it out on my iPhone 13 Pro and it makes a huge difference. Pokémon Go isn’t the most visually complicated game, of course, but there’s a lot of scrolling and camera movement, and the smoother touch response feels a lot better when you’re lining up a pokéball throw with your finger.
Here’s how the feature appears in the game’s menu:
Pokémon Go was previously locked to 30fps on iOS devices. Many Android phones are capable of running the game at a higher frame rate, though in my...
Nintendo launched its “Expansion Pack” for the Switch Online service back in October, which brought Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 games to the library of playable retro titles. The first new addition has now been announced, and it’s just one game: Paper Mario. It’ll be available on December 10th.
Paper Mario was released for the N64 in 2000 and was the first entry in what became a popular spin-off series featuring Mario characters and RPG-style turn-based combat. The most recent game, Paper Mario: The Origami King, came out on the Switch last year.
The launch of Nintendo’s Expansion Pack was somewhat contentious. The $49.99 annual fee does also include a big Animal Crossing expansion, but it’s still a big hike over the regular $29.99...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
On Wednesday night, someone drained funds from multiple cryptocurrency wallets connected to the decentralized finance platform BadgerDAO. According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, which is working with Badger to investigate the heist, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million.
— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) December 2, 2021
While the investigation is still ongoing, members of the Badger team have told users that they believe the issue came from someone inserting a malicious script in the UI of their website. For any users who interacted with the site...
Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images
Were you one of the 53,000 attendees of the Anime NYC 2021 convention in New York City, or know someone who did? New York City authorities and Anime NYC organizers are urgingevery single attendee, exhibitor, artist, and staff member to get tested for COVID-19 — because one of the United States’ first confirmed cases of the new omicron variant was a man who attended the convention and likely caught it there (via Kotaku).
If you attended the Anime NYC 2021 Convention at the Javits Center from November 18-22, get tested for #COVID19 as soon as possible.
— City of New York (@nycgov) December 2, 2021
The Anime NYC team was notified today that one of this year’s attendees tested...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Google is reportedly changing its return-to-office plans again, saying that its US employees won’t have to adopt a hybrid work model come January 10th, as was previously planned. According to a report from CNBC, the plan now is to hold off on coming up with new plans until next year, with decisions regarding timelines left up to local offices.
The company has changed its return to work plans several times as the pandemic evolved. In August, when the delta variant was a growing concern, we learned that the company intended to keep in-office work voluntary until at least January 10th, 2022. That plan itself was a change from a previous one that was revealed in December 2020, which would have had employees returning in September.
Signal users can make donations to the company within the app | Signal
Secure messaging app Signal has launched a new feature that allows users to make donations within the app, the company announced. As a nonprofit, Signal doesn’t receive financial support from any advertisers or shareholders, a new blog post notes, and relies on users for donations.
Users can choose to make monthly donations, or one-off contributions within the app using Apple Pay or Google Pay, and their payment information won’t be associated with a user’s Signal account, according to the blog post, as the company will use the same anonymous credential scheme it uses for private Signal groups:
Clients make payments and then associate a badge to their profile such that the server can authenticate the client is in the set of people who...
The Steam Deck in its box. | Image: Valve
Valve has shared a preview of the Steam Deck’s final package design ahead of the handheld gaming PC’s recently delayed launch date.
Each Steam Deck comes with the console and a carrying case, and Valve revealed in these photos that each device also comes with its own USB-C power supply, meaning you won’t have to source your own like you have to with manyrecentsmartphones. The box also has a handful of fun Easter eggs for Valve superfans — I’ve spotted a few Portal references myself.
The Steam Deck’s box, closed.
Valve says it’s testing the packaging design, so there could be some changes from what you see in the pictures when the Steam Deck ships next year. The company also says it has...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Zoom has reached a settlement (PDF) in a class-action lawsuit over alleged privacy and security issues, and if you used the videoconferencing app before July, then you could be eligible to receive money as a result. The company has agreed to pay $85 million while continuing to deny the allegations and any liability.
There are two groups eligible to file a claim. If you paid for a Zoom Meetings App subscription between March 30th, 2016, and July 30th, 2021, you can file a claim for $25 or 15 percent of what you paid for that subscription (excluding optional add-ons). You’re entitled to whichever is greater.
The plaintiffs allege Zoom failed to prevent Zoombombing
The second bucket is much broader. If you aren’t eligible for the first...
The Product Red edition of the Series 6 has often recieved the biggest discounts. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Thinking about picking up a new Apple Watch? It might be tempting to order one of the new Series 7 models, but new Apple hardware always comes at a premium. The latest version of the Apple wearable offers a slightly larger display and some improvements to durability but is largely the same Apple Watch we’re familiar with.
Thankfully, each Apple Watch model offers ample functionality and has seen its fair share of discounts over the last year. So which ones should you consider if you’re in the market for Apple’s popular smartwatch while trying to shop smarter?
There are currently four Apple Watch models to choose from, all of which support watchOS 8. The highest-end is the Apple Watch Series 7, which starts at $399. Last year's model,...
Endwalker is coming, and I’m not ready for it. I came to Final Fantasy XIV only this year, ravenously tearing through A Realm Reborn and Heavensward before abandoning the game somewhere in the middle of Stormblood, which is generally considered to be inferior to the other FFXIV expansions.
Then news of a new expansion hit, rekindling my desire to restart my journey, hopefully finishing in time for Endwalker’s launch. I harbored no illusions about my ability to power through one-and-a-half expansions’ worth of content before December 8th, but I could try, and trying meant getting through _Stormblood_first. So I proposed an experiment: Final Fantasy XIV will go down for maintenance at 4AM EST in preparation for a new patch and to open up E...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Hackers were able to access files containing personal information for hundreds of thousands of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles patients with a ransomware attack that occurred in October, according to a report by The Washington Post. A letter sent to affected patients by Planned Parenthood explained that the files contained patients’ names and “one or more of the following: address, insurance information, date of birth, and clinical information, such as diagnosis, procedure, and/or prescription information.”
Planned Parenthood says the ransomware was installed on its network some time between October 9th and October 17th. On the 17th, the organization noticed the intrusion, took its systems offline, and contacted law enforcement and...
I’m about to introduce a topic that most of us would rather avoid: our digital legacy. In other words, what happens to all our digital stuff after we die? (And if your answer is “That’s not gonna happen,” you haven’t been paying a lot of attention lately, have you?)
If you’re reading this, odds are that you’ve got a lot of digital stuff, both on your own devices and floating around in the cloud: backups, photos, tweets, Facebook messages, texts, you name it. If you’re no longer around to pay attention, these can hang around for a very long time — and some of it may be important to your survivors. (For example, who else has the passwords to your bank accounts and credit cards?)
So let’s take a deep breath and discuss how to make things...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm just ran into another massive hurdle: the Federal Trade Commission, which announced today that it’s suing to block the merger from going through due to concerns that the combined companies would “stifle competing next-generation technologies.” The suit comes after an FTC investigation into the deal following complaints from Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm shortly after the merger was announced.
“The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies,” said FTC Bureau of Competition director Holly Vedova in a statement. “Tomorrow’s technologies depend on preserving today’s...
EA is making a big change to the management of the Battlefield franchise by putting Vince Zampella, the CEO of Titanfall and _Apex Legends-_maker Respawn Entertainment, in charge of the series, according to a GameSpot article published Thursday.
Alongside Zampella’s new oversight of the franchise, EA plans to build an interconnected Battlefield universe, he told GameSpot. To help support that, EA is creating a new Seattle-based team focused on “injecting more storytelling into the Battlefield universe” headed up by Halo veteran Marcus Lehto, while Ripple Effect, which made _Battlefield 2042’s_customizable Portal mode, is working on a “new Battlefield experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe.”
The changes arrive shortly after...
Wear a helmet but please remove the neckbuds | Image: DeWALT
If you didn’t know that tool manufacturer DeWalt made wireless headphones, don’t worry — we hadn’t either until they started catching on fire. The DeWalt-branded Jobsite Pro Wireless Earphones are being recalled by manufacturer E-filliate for safety concerns of overheating. The company said the recall affects about 301,000 units, which were were sold in stores including Home Depot and Lowes between December 2019 and July 2021.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall on December 1st and said there had been 61 reports of the headphones overheating, including five fire incidents and four minor burn injuries.
E-filliate says customers can contact the company for a free replacement of its $60 headsets but did not...
This is not the new watch; we have not seen the new watch yet. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Google is finally making its own in-house smartwatch that’s set to launch in 2022, according to a person familiar with the matter and a new report from Insider.
While Google has made its own smartphones for years under the Pixel line (which has since extended to other accessories, like wireless headphones), the company has never designed its own smartwatch, despite the fact that Google has had a companion wearable platform for Android since 2014.
The watch is being worked on by Google’s Pixel hardware group separately from Fitbit, which Google bought for $2.1 billion earlier this year. According to Insider’s report, the new upcoming Google watch — it’s not clear whether Google will actually be calling it a “Pixel Watch” yet — will...
My friend said this picture makes me look like Hide the Pain Harold.
Following the news that Square is changing its name to Block, people started noticing (read: making fun of) the company’s new leadership and board of directors pages. While Block is still the same financial company that operates Cash App and Tidal and still has Jack Dorsey as its CEO, the leadership pages now feature each person’s portrait projected onto cubes. Now, Twitter user @tarngerine has pushed this developing meme even further by creating a tool that lets you create your own blockhead image.
Using Blockify Yourself is pretty simple — you select an uncomfortably close-up image of your face (or any image, I suppose, but if you’re looking for the best results...), and the site will turn it into a cube. You can also mess around with...
Polestar offered a glimpse of its upcoming electric SUV, the Polestar 3, which will be the Volvo performance sub-brand’s first car manufactured in the United States.
The SUV, which is expected to roll out in 2022, will slot into the premium category, putting it in competition with EVs like the Tesla Model X, Audi E-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Rivian R1S, and Fisker Ocean. Notably, the Polestar will be assembled at Volvo’s factory in Charleston, South Carolina, giving it the distinction of being the company’s first EV made on US soil.
“We will build in America for Americans”
“We will build in America for Americans,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO.
In addition to be being a higher-riding vehicle than the Polestar 2 fastback sedan, the...
Luna Display’s latest update adds a helpful new feature: allowing you to hook up a Windows PC to a Mac laptop or desktop (including Apple’s flash M1 iMacs) to use as a secondary display. The new update also enables 4K and 5K resolution options (assuming you’ve got a screen that supports it).
While Luna Display has offered Mac-to-Mac connectivity for a while, until now, users were only able to connect PCs to iPads using the company’s dongle and software setup. The new PC-to-Mac connection works both wirelessly and through an ethernet connection, just like the Mac-to-Mac option does.
Additionally, Luna Display’s update adds support for 5K and 4K monitors at full resolutions, although there are still some limitations there: PCs can only run...
Illustrations by Jesse Zhang
If you ask Jimmy Bailey what killed his best friend Mark Calivas, his answer is simple: “It was Apple.” How else could he explain how the Apple Store wellness champion — known for evangelizing therapy and mental health — would slide into a depression so profound he’d be forced to take medical leave and ultimately die by suicide? “It was nothing in his outside life that did this,” Bailey says. “It was work.”
Calivas started at the Apple Southpoint store in Durham, North Carolina in March 2013. His colleagues laughed when he’d arrived in the morning with multiple changes of clothes (he went on a six-mile run up the American Tobacco Trail on his lunch break) and healthy snacks (he was on the keto diet and carried around two 64oz water...
Photo by Andrew Liptak / The Verge
General Motors won’t build any new Chevy Bolt EVs until at least the end of January 2022. The automaker will instead stay focused on making replacement batteries for the 140,000-plus Bolts that were recalled earlier this year after a series of fires.
The Bolt production line at GM’s Orion assembly plant in Michigan will remain shut down “through the week of Jan. 24, 2022,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “We will continue to inform employees at the appropriate time of any additional production schedule adjustments, as we continue to focus on battery module replacements.”
GM had already said that it wasn’t going to make any more Bolts for the rest of this year, though Thursday’s announcement put a more fine date on things. But...
Microsoft is starting to roll out its new Office UI to all users this week. The visual update was originally announced earlier this year and went into testing over the summer. Now it’s starting to roll out to all Office 365 and Office 2021 users.
This new Office UI is designed to match the visual changes in Windows 11, and it includes a more rounded look to the Office ribbon bar, with some subtle tweaks to the buttons throughout Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It’s a relatively simple refresh, and Office will now match the dark or light theme that you set inside Windows.
The new Office visual update.
The new look can be toggled on or off using the Coming Soon megaphone icon in the top...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
As part of efforts to expand the health information it provides, today Google announced a new feature in search that will allow doctors to list which languages they can speak at their offices.
People who speak languages other than English often struggle to navigate the healthcare system in the United States and are at risk of bad medical outcomes because they have more trouble communicating with providers. They get better care when they have access to trained interpreters or are seen by providers who speak their native languages.
In a blog post, Google also drew attention to other recently added features that address challenges patients face with the health system, including the ability to see what insurance networks are accepted by...
Over the past year, Microsoft has been steadily adding custom Xbox touch controls to more than 100 games that can be streamed to Android and iOS phones using its Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service. While these controls may seem gimmicky to some, Microsoft is now revealing that 20 percent of players use these touch controls exclusively.
“[Twenty] percent of our Xbox Cloud Gaming users use touch as their exclusive method of playing games,” explains Monty Hernandez, a senior program manager at Xbox. “As such, it’s important to us that the touch-enabled games we launch are relevant and, most importantly, play well with touch controls.”
It’s a surprising stat and there are even individual games where 30 percent of players use touch controls...
An artistic rendering of Neutron | Image: Rocket Lab
This morning, small satellite launcher Rocket Lab unveiled the details of its future, more powerful Neutron rocket — a launch vehicle optimized to carry satellites into orbit for future mega-constellations. Made out of a special carbon composite that Rocket Lab created, Neutron will also be mostly reusable, designed to land on a landing pad after launch — similar to how SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 rockets.
“This is not a conventional rocket,” Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s CEO, said during the unveil, livestreamed on YouTube. “This is what a rocket should look like in 2050. But we’re building it today.” As of now, Neutron is slated for its first flight in 2024.
“This is not a conventional rocket.”
Rocket Lab already has one rocket called...
AI wanna be the very best, like no one ever was
Grayson Blackmon / The Verge
The company formerly known as Facebook has bet big on the metaverse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg hyped the already popular term in October, when he changed the company’s name to Meta and led viewers through its dizzying vision of the future.
But “the metaverse” is a much bigger — and more confusing — idea. From its origins in science fiction, it’s become a catchall for anything that mixes people’s physical and virtual lives. That includes virtual and augmented reality headsets; 3D virtual worlds like Fortnite, Roblox,and Minecraft; and decentralized Web3 services including cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens or NFTs. Lots of “metaverse” proponents don’t agree on a single definition for the word or on how much people are already living in it.
Both Govee’s newest and last-gen Immersion TV LED backlights are on sale today. | Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge
If you’re looking to step up your TV game and make watching movies and gaming more immersive, Govee offers a range of colorful lighting kits that also make for great holiday gifts. One of its most appealing products are the Immersion TV LED backlights, which sync to whatever you’re watching on your 55-inch or 65-inch screen, making it appear as if the TV colors are bleeding out of the frame and onto your walls. Responsive LED strips like these are typically expensive, but right now Govee’s 2020 backlighting kit costs just $61 once you clip the $10 off coupon at Amazon. That’s the kit’s best price to date.
But they stand to gain a real chance at change
It might remind you of a vintage metal camera, but it’s all plastic
A selection of the devices GeForce Now streams to. | Image: Nvidia
Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service is getting an RTX 3080-themed upgrade in Europe. Nvidia announced the new membership tier in October, and it’s already available in the US. But, as of today, gamers in Europe can start streaming from the company’s new higher-performance servers, which offer improved resolutions, frame rates, and less latency.
The RTX 3080 membership tier offers up to 1440p / 120fps gameplay through PC and Mac, or up to 4K HDR / 60fps when streamed to an Nvidia Shield TV. That’s up from 1080p at 60fps with the current Priority tier. Session lengths can also extend up to eight hours long rather than six, and Nvidia also says the tier offers lower latency. The big tradeoff is price, with the new tier costing...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Shopping for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X these days is starting to feel like hunting for toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic. Thankfully, however, if you still haven’t been able to land one, right now Target is giving you another shot, with online ordering for in-store pickup at stores near you.
Listings for the $499.99 PS5 with a disc drive are now up. The $399.99 PS5 digital edition along with the $499.99 Xbox Series X are still showing up as sold out, but deal trackers suggest they are in stock and could go live at any moment. And if you already have a next-gen console (or don’t need one to play last-gen games) the page for Microsoft’s novelty $99.99 Xbox Series mini-fridge shows it’s due for a restock as well.
Microsoft’s new Edge prompt.
Microsoft has never been a fan of Windows users downloading Chrome instead of using Edge, but the company has now stepped up its campaign to keep people using its built-in browser. Windows 10 and Windows 11 have both started displaying new prompts when people navigate to the Chrome download page, in an effort to discourage people from installing Google’s rival browser.
These new prompts, spotted by Neowin, include messages like:
We’ve been able to confirm at...
In a new research paper, Google has detailed the tech behind its impressive Project Starline demo from this year’s I/O conference. Project Starline is essentially a 3D video chat booth that aims to replace a one-on-one 2D video conference call with an experience that feels like you’re actually sitting in front of a real human being.
It sounds simple, but Google’s research paper highlights just how many challenges there are in tricking your brain into thinking there’s a real human being sitting just a few feet away from you. Obviously the image needs to be high resolution and free of distracting artifacts, but it also needs to look correct from your relative position in the booth. Audio is another challenge, as the system needs to make...
Tesla has quietly launched a $1,900 four-wheel ATV for kids. The Cyberquad for Kids is available to order right now from Tesla’s website, and will begin shipping in two to four weeks. The surprise announcement comes more than two year after Tesla announced a fullsize Cyberquad ATV to compliment its futuristic Cybertruck. The Cyberquad has not yet shipped.
This new pint-sized Cybersquad is designed for kids 8 years old and up, and ones that have parents that can afford to buy them a $1,900 ATV. It includes a steel frame, cushioned seat, and adjustable suspension with rear disk braking. There’s even LED light bars to complete the cyberpunk aesthetics. This all-electric ATV has a top speed of 10mph, and the battery will power up to 15 miles...
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Apple is indicating to its iPhone 13 component suppliers that it may not order as many units as expected due to a drop in demand, according to a report in Bloomberg.
While the company had already cut orders for the year to 80 million — down from a target of 90 million — it was reportedly planning to make up for much of the drop next year. Now, though, Apple is said to have told manufacturing partners that this may not happen and they might not see the expected boost in orders.
Like almost every other technology company, Apple has been dealing with supply issues brought on by the global semiconductor shortage. CEO Tim Cook said the company’s last quarterly earnings took an estimated $6 billion hit due to the shortage as well as the...
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
A federal judge has blocked a Texas law that aimed to limit large social platforms’ ability to moderate content on the grounds that it is likely to violate the First Amendment. The order, issued by a federal district court in Austin on Wednesday night, granted an injunction proposed by NetChoice and the CCIA that puts the HB 20 law on hold until the conclusion of the case.
“HB 20’s prohibitions on ‘censorship’ and constraints on how social media platforms disseminate content violate the First Amendment,” determined Judge Robert Pitman in the decision. “Content moderation and curation will benefit users and the public by reducing harmful content and providing a safe, useful service,” Pitman said, explaining why the injunction was...
Apple’s AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are a go-to pick that’s often on sale | Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any AirPods deals to be had. In October, Apple finally launched its third generation of AirPods, introducing a new AirPods lineup and dropping the starting price of the second-gen, entry-level AirPods from $159 to $129. Since then, we’ve seen many retailers starting to discount the second-gen AirPods as well as the more expensive AirPods Pro and Max, which offer noise cancellation and better sound quality than the standard model. We’ve even seen some of the first discounts on the latest AirPods, despite how recently they launched.
Here, we’ll run through the best deals available on each model, including the entry-level AirPods, the AirPods Pro, the...
Mac notebook upgrade program marketing to apparent business partners | Image: @MaxWinebach
Apple has apparently introduced a business-only program that enables members to obtain and eventually upgrade computers for a relatively low monthly fee. A tweet from writer Max Weinbach shows an image of Apple’s “New Mac Notebook Upgrade Program” promotional material that popped up for a customer with access to a business portal (via MacRumors).
The credit application makes clear this is all about the Apple M1 refresh
The deal appears to be in partnership with CIT Group_,_a bank for business customers where this landing page for the program shares the monthly rates for different MacBook models — starting with the 13-inch MacBook Air for $30, 13-inch MacBook Pro for $39, 14-inch MacBook Pro for $60, and 16-inch MacBook Pro for $75. Apple...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
An indictment from the Department of Justice suggests that the Ubiquiti hack reported in January, and subsequent whistleblower claims of a cover-up, were the work of someone who was then an employee of the company. The DOJ alleges that Nickolas Sharp, 36, was arrested on Wednesday on accusations that he used his employee credentials to download confidential data and sent anonymous demands to the company he worked for pretending to be a hacker in an attempt to get a ransom of 50 Bitcoin. You can read the full indictment below.
The indictment doesn’t specifically name Ubiquiti, only referring to a “Company-1.” However, all the details line up. In January, Ubiquiti sent an email to users saying an unauthorized party had accessed its...
Five major publishers have sued Shopify over pirated learning materials like PDFs of ebooks and test materials, saying the e-commerce platform fails to remove listings and stores that violate the publishers’ trademarks and copyrights. The lawsuit, filed today in the US District Court for Eastern Virginia, claims statutory damages higher than $500 million.
The publishers — Pearson Education, Inc., Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning, Inc., Elsevier Inc., and McGraw Hill — say in the lawsuit that Shopify “assists and profits from the online sale of infringing copies” of the textbooks and other products. The publishers also say that Shopify has received “detailed notices virtually every week for years” that identify listings selling...
Sony’s new Airpeak S1 drone. | Image: Sony
Sony’s $9,000 Airpeak S1 drone is now available to order, the company announced Wednesday. It’s expected to ship starting December 24th.
The Airpeak S1, which was first teased in January at CES 2021, is targeted toward video professionals and is designed to be used with Sony’s mirrorless cameras. According to the drone’s product page, it has a flight time of 22 minutes without a payload and up to 12 minutes with a “heavy payload,” such as a Sony A7S Mark III camera. Sony says the Airpeak is stable in winds of up to 44.7mph, which could be useful for capturing footage in windy conditions.
The $9,000 price tag comes with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries, and a battery charger. It doesn’t include a camera or...
The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit. | Image: Qualcomm
Qualcomm is upping its investment in gaming with a new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, which manufacturers can use to make Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck-like handheld gaming devices. The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is an Android-based platform designed to let you play Android games, stream games from a console or PC, or play games via cloud gaming services.
The basis of the platform is the new G3x chip. It has an Adreno GPU, similar to Qualcomm’s existing smartphone chips, which will let you play games at up 144fps. It also supports sub-6Hz 5G, mmWave 5G, and Wi-Fi 6E for speedy networking. If you want to connect G3x-powered devices to other screens, the chip supports output to a 4K display or tethering to a mixed reality headset over a...
Qualcomm has announced its latest flagship chip for PCs: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which, as the name implies, succeeds last year’s 8cx Gen 2 model and offers some substantial jumps in performance.
The 8cx Gen 3 is the first chip for Windows computers built on a 5nm process and promises up to 85 percent better CPU performance and up to 60 percent faster GPU performance compared to the 8cx Gen 2. Additionally, Qualcomm boasts that its new chip offers “60 percent greater performance per watt over the competitive x86 platform” — although the company is notably quiet on which x86 platform its comparing things to. Qualcomm also touts that the chip supports “multi-day battery life,” although again, it didn’t provide too many details.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge
Amazon has expanded sound detection for routines, as well as made Alexa’s prescription refill skill available to Amazon Pharmacy customers. The company described the changes in its Alexa monthly roundup for November, which also includes mentions the US rollout of Conversation Mode, and that the wall-mountable Echo Show 15 will start shipping next week.
Amazon first announced its plans to support custom sounds at its fall event back in September, but it doesn’t look like you’re able to program custom sounds just yet — Amazon has simply added two new sounds you can tell Alexa to recognize. With the new update, the device can listen out for the sounds of water running and appliances beeping.
If you want Alexa to detect the chime of your...
Let’s get something out of the way: this is The Verge, and if there is any movie we are going to cover the shit out of, it’s The Matrix Resurrections— even if its new trailer is long on melting / morphing faces and short on clues about the plot.
The latest trailer, titled “Déjà Vu,” opens with a voiceover from Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) with a line from the first movie, when she explains that “déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.” That sentence repeats several times. We see a black cat cross Neo’s path just like in the first movie, and we see a series of screen wipes, moving between younger and older versions of characters, including Neo — in the birthing goo pod — Trinity, Morpheus (hi,...
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified for the second time before Congress on Wednesday. But instead of explaining Facebook’s harms, Haugen provided guidance on how to fix the problems the platform created.
Specifically, House lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee requested Haugen’s input on a slew of recently introduced measures to reform tech’s controversial legal liability shield under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Both Republicans and Democrats have a stake in the game, but their deep divides over what kind of online content should stay up or down has stalled any chance of pushing reforms.
But House Democrats are more optimistic now than ever in their abilities to clamp down on hate speech and...
Block’s new logo. | Image: Block
Square, a financial services company co-founded by now-former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is changing its name to Block, the company announced Wednesday. Square has grown beyond just offering financial services — it took a majority stake in the music streaming service Tidal this year, for example — which Block is using as the justification for the new name.
“The change to Block acknowledges the company’s growth,” the company said in a press release. “Since its start in 2009, the company has added Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 as businesses, and the name change creates room for further growth. Block is an overarching ecosystem of many businesses united by their purpose of economic empowerment, and serves many people—individuals, artists,...
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiling the RTX 2060 graphics card in 2019. | Photo by Nvidia
In February 2021, Nvidia committed to reissuing some of its older GPUs — namely the RTX 2060 and GTX 1050 Ti — to give gamers a couple of low-cost options that scalpers or crypto miners (hopefully) won’t see much use for during the chip shortage. The company is following through on at least part of that promise by releasing a new variant of the RTX 2060 that has 12GB of video RAM, doubling the memory of the standard configuration originally released in 2019.
Nvidia says that various models should become available starting Tuesday, December 7th. The specs for revised Founders Edition GPU are available right here. Note the slightly higher base clock speed and the slightly increased CUDA cores (2,176 versus 1,920 in the standard RTX 2060)....
It’s December 1st, which for Spotify users, means the annual tradition of the music streaming service’s Spotify Wrapped roundup: customized, flashy infographics of the top songs, playlists, artists, and podcast that you’ve listened to over the last year, chock-full of data, mood boards, and just a sprinkling of judgment.
I, unfortunately, do not use Spotify. Instead, I pay Apple $10 per month for Apple Music, Spotify’s biggest competitor. And so while virtually everyone I know on Twitter and Instagram is spending the entirety of today putting their personal taste in music on blast, I get... a playlist of the songs that I listened to the most this year.
This is fine.
Spotify has been eating Apple’s lunch for years...
The Nokia 9 PureView was launched in 2019 with a rare five-camera system. | Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge
HMD Global is not only reneging on its promise to bring Android 11 to the Nokia 9 PureView, but it is also dangling a discount for a new phone at customers who just found out their current devices are no longer supported.
These are customers who paid between $599 and $699 for the premium Nokia 9 PureView back in 2019 after it made quite a splash with its quintuple rear camera array at World Mobile Congress that year. At the time, Nokia was even known as the best phone brand for receiving fast software updates, according to Counterpoint Research, so customers understandably might have felt they could trust Nokia and HMD Global.
As one of the devices in the Android One program, the Nokia 9 PureView runs a near-stock version of Android 9...
Kyle Rittenhouse can rejoin Facebook if he wants, after being acquitted of murder charges in November. | Photo by Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images
Facebook on Wednesday removed a block on searches for the name Kyle Rittenhouse that it had put into place following his arrest for an August 2020 shooting in Wisconsin that left two people dead and a third seriously injured. Last month, a jury in Kenosha acquitted Rittenhouse on all charges.
In the days following the shooting, the company removed Rittenhouse’s profile from Facebook and Instagram and blocked users from creating new profiles using his name, to prevent copycats from spreading misinformation. By the end of that week, Facebook was blocking searches for “Kyle Rittenhouse,” as well as removing expressions of praise or support for him on the platforms.
“After the verdict in Kenosha we rolled back the restrictions we had in...
The Honor 60 series. | Image: Honor
Honor, the former Huawei sub-brand that split from the Chinese tech giant last year, has announced its latest handsets for the Chinese market. The Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro are two midrange handsets powered by Qualcomm’s recent Snapdragon 778G Plus processor, but otherwise, they’re very similar to the Honor 50 series phones released earlier this year, right down to having similar dual-ring camera bumps on the rear of each phone.
A notable new feature for both new phones is support for hand gesture controls, which let you perform actions like making the “Okay” gesture or raising your hand to perform camera controls like switching between its front and back cameras, or enabling picture-in-picture mode. The phone can recognize five hand...
The Verizon logo can return to your living room and you’re technically still a cord-cutter ($399 Verizon Stream TV Soundbar shown) | Image: Inside Verizon YouTube Channel
Verizon already sells accessories like phone cases and chargers, but in addition to electronics like digital picture frames and tablets, there are also... soundbars. Verizon announced today that it’s releasing two new soundbars with a built-in Verizon Stream TV streaming box. The $399.99 Stream TV Soundbar and $999.99 Stream TV Soundbar Pro are both built by Bang & Olufsen, with the Pro model sporting a similar housing to the even more expensive Beosound Stage, but with nine drivers inside instead of 11.
Since Verizon’s Stream TV system is a skinned Android TV...
Respawn Entertainment has decided to end sales of the original Titanfall game.
A note about Titanfall. pic.twitter.com/Ew232HkUIo
— Respawn (@Respawn) December 1, 2021
Starting today, players will no longer be able to purchase Titanfall and the game will be removed from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass on March 1st, 2022. Though Titanfall is no longer purchasable, players who already own the game will still be able to play.
“We will, however, be keeping servers live for the dedicated fanbase still playing,” Respawn wrote. It is not known how long Respawn intends to keep those servers around.
Titanfall is no long available on Steam
The announcement goes on to say that the Titanfall universe is “core to...
Windows 11’s taskbar is a giant step back in usability compared to Windows 10, and now Microsoft is starting to make improvements. A new update that’s currently being tested by Windows Insiders brings the clock and date back to the taskbar on secondary or multiple monitors. It’s a change that multiple monitor users will appreciate, as many have had to install third-party apps like ElevenClock just to get this basic functionality in Windows 11.
I’ve not been shy about criticizing the changes made to the taskbar in Windows 11. I hate the new taskbar, so I’m happy to see Microsoft make this initial change. There’s still much more to be improved, and hopefully we see the return of being able to drag and drop files onto taskbar apps and the...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
TikTok has announced that it’s rolling out Creator Next, a single hub for all of the platform's monetization tools, and it also outlined some updates for its existing creator tools (via TechCrunch). In a post on TikTok’s newsroom, the short-form video platform explains that alongside Creator Next, it’s also widely introducing its tipping feature, which lets users send money directly to their favorite creators.
This is part of TikTok’s larger efforts to retain creators and prevent them from hopping on other networks that pay creators, like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. When the platform was just a year old in 2019, users struggled to find ways to earn money natively through the app, as they had to secure deals and...
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Microsoft is opening up its invite-only Xbox testing rings for more console testers to get access to the very latest features. Xbox testing includes many levels, and the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings typically include the bleeding edge of Xbox dashboard features that may not debut publicly for months.
Microsoft keeps these Alpha rings invite-only, reserved for those who regularly provide feedback through other Xbox testing rings. Now, Microsoft is inviting Xbox testers to complete a survey to be considered for the Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead rings.
“You will receive a notice on your console if you are selected to participate,” says Austin Olney, an Xbox program manager. “There are limited spots available, so completing the survey does...
Photovoltaic modules at a solar power plant near Golmud, Qinghai province, China, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. | Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
2021 is on course to break a global record for renewable energy growth, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Renewables Market Report. That’s despite skyrocketing commodity prices, which could bog down the transition to clean energy in the future.
With 290 GW in additional capacity expected to be commissioned by the end of the year, 2021 will smash the record for renewable electricity growth that was just set last year. This year’s additions even outpace a forecast that the International Energy Agency (IEA) made in the spring.
“Exceptionally high growth” would be the “new normal” for renewable sources of electricity, the IEA said at the time. Solar energy, in particular, was on track to take the crown as the “new king...
Spotify Wrapped 2021 | Image: Spotify
Spotify has released its eagerly anticipated Wrapped experience revealing the most listened to artists and albums for (most of) 2021. This year, it’s adding even more social media-friendly features that help you share your favorite music with a customized movie, aura, or playing cards. Naturally, you can share Spotify’s auto-created images on your timeline and, for the first time, directly to TikTok. It’s sure to spark discussions with friends and provide valuable marketing for Spotify that competitors like Apple and YouTube can’t seem to match.
Here’s how to find your Spotify 2021 Wrapped experience. To get all of the interactive features, you’ll need to open the Spotify mobile app — it’s not available on the desktop or web version. If...
Google has a bevy of new features coming soon to Android, including new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos; new Android Auto features; and updates for Google Assistant and Google Photos. The company detailed the new features in a blog post.
The biggest car-based addition is that from today Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S21 owners will be able to use their phones as a car key with “compatible BMW vehicles” in select countries. Google announced it was working on the car key feature for Android 12 in May, specifically citing BMW as one of the manufacturers with which it would work. Google says the feature will be available “on all BMW 2020 & 2022 model year vehicles,” and that it hopes to add more...
General Motors announced that it will construct a new cathode factory in North America for its electric vehicle batteries. The factory, which will be built under a joint venture with South Korea’s Posco Chemical, will process cathode active material (CAM), which represents about 40 percent of the cost of an EV battery cell.
Much like the rest of the auto industry, GM is racing to boost its EV offerings, vowing to spend $27 billion on the development and production of 30 new electric vehicles by 2025. To accomplish this enormous feat, the company is trying to get a stronger grasp on its supply chain, which includes battery manufacturing. The company has said it will spend over $4 billion on the construction of two battery factories in...
Barnes & Noble has once again remembered that it ostensibly wants to sell e-readers and has announced the Nook GlowLight 4, a $149 e-reader that offers a refreshed design, more onboard storage, and USB-C charging to the company’s lineup.
The last dedicated Nook e-reader, the GlowLight 3, was announced 49 months ago (to the day) on November 1st, 2017, although Barnes & Noble did give the Nook brand a shot in the arm earlier this year with a new, Lenovo-made budget tablet.
The new GlowLight 4 doesn’t appear to move the needle much compared to the 2017 model, though. The display is an identical six-inch, 300ppi e-paper display with an integrated backlight and adjustable color temperature functionality, although the company has slimmed...
Photo: Marvel Studios
In the third episode of Hawkeye, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) does something very unexpected: she requests a USB dongle in the midst of a battle.
The highlight of the episode is a scene where Kate and her reluctant mentor, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), are fighting their way through the Tracksuit Mafia amidst some hectic New York City traffic. While Clint drives, Kate goes through his collection of trick arrows. Most are the kind of comic book goofiness you’d expect: one arrow creates a bubbling purple foam; another becomes destructively huge. Later, though, Clint hands Kate something much less useful in a fight: an arrow with a USB-A port on the end. “God, I hope he’s got a dongle to make this useful,” Kate quips afterward. (It turns...
The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for high school and college students. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Shopping for a laptop can be stressful — doubly stressful if you or your children will be learning online for the first time. Kids of different ages have a range of different laptop use cases and different needs. And as the choices for best laptop and best Chromebook evolve, so do students’ needs. So I spoke to some experts on the subject: students themselves.
My recommendations here are meant to accommodate a variety of preferences and price ranges. But they’re a jumping-off point rather than an exhaustive list: every student is different. Before making a decision, you’ll want to make sure you read reviews and try out devices yourself if you can. I’ll do my best to keep this article up to date with items that are in stock.