Year: 2020

Based on wallpaper by Michael Gillett (Wallpaper Hub) Forty-five days to close the deal At first glance, a Microsoft acquisition of TikTok seems a little unusual. Microsoft has spent years walking back consumer plays like the Groove Music service, the Kinect Xbox accessory, its Microsoft Band fitness device, Windows Phone, and more recently the Mixer…

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The ultimate autocomplete The most exciting new arrival in the world of AI looks, on the surface, disarmingly simple. It’s not some subtle game-playing program that can outthink humanity’s finest or a mechanically advanced robot that backflips like an Olympian. No, it’s merely an autocomplete program, like the…

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For the past week, Nintendo fans have resembled digital archaeologists. Following a massive leak of source code and other internal documents — appropriately dubbed the gigaleak — previously unknown details from the company’s biggest games have steadily trickled out. Those poring over the code have uncovered a new Animal Crossing villager, early prototypes for games…

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How MSCHF managed to dominate the internet — with fun! Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / Alex Castro / The Verge Here is the first honorable use of venture capital: using the funds to design, prototype, test, and then build a rubber chicken pipe to smoke weed out of. The first time I saw Puff The…

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Amid hosts of reasonable fears about the coronavirus pandemic, there’s also one far more dubious threat: “COVID parties.” As Wired explains in a good exploration of the topic, COVID parties (or “corona parties”) are events where people supposedly expose themselves to the coronavirus on purpose. Medical professionals and government officials have periodically warned about these…

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Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge Librarians are using the activities to keep communities entertained and informed On the day the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, was supposed to unveil a superhero-themed escape room, the library had to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. With no physical location to work…

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Peacock is NBCUniversal’s new streaming service and the last major entrant in the colloquial streaming wars. But Gidon Katz, the company’s president of direct to consumer, believes Peacock can win by leaning into something most of its biggest competitors won’t: offering premium entertainment, mostly for free. When Peacock launches tomorrow across the United States, people…

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Happy Worldwide Developer Conference to those who celebrate. I spent the weekend watching three stories unfold at the intersection of social networks and politics. Let’s take them in turn. I. During the initial George Floyd protests earlier this month, a big question was whether the social networks would take action against President Trump for one…

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There is a plethora of streaming services available for anyone with a credit card handy. Hulu and Netflix are general entertainment providers offering licensed content and originals for subscribers. Others, like anime provider Crunchyroll and NFL Sunday Ticket, are targeted at specific interests. Streaming services like Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus are flashy newcomers…

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Programming note: The Interface is off on Thursday. Back on Monday. It seems hard to believe now, but there was a time when political advertising was relatively uncontroversial. Sure, individual ads regularly proved to be controversial, from the nuclear provocations of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Daisy” to racist fear-mongering of George H.W. Bush’s “Willie Horton.” And…

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Destiny 2’s first ever Fortnite-style live event just wrapped earlier today, and it was unfortunately not quite what some players were expecting. Instead of something monumental and game-changing for a key part of the game world, it was more of a slow burn alternative to a standard video game cutscene. And instead of delivering a…

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Like all big tech companies, Google and Alphabet are playing an outsized role in our lives as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Whether it’s helping people find reliable information in search, working with the government on testing, building an exposure-tracking system into Android and iOS in partnership with Apple, or battling misinformation on YouTube, Google’s capability…

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Taylor Walker worked hard during her time at Salem State University. She was her class’s homecoming queen, she sang in the university’s Grammy award-winning choir, and she completed a double degree in communication and speech. Graduation was her chance to reflect on all those accomplishments. To celebrate, she planned to host a party with her…

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After months of hardware reveals, spec reveals, and hype, Microsoft is finally doing a proper first look at gameplay footage for its upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, showing off gameplay from 13 games that will be headed to the console this fall. Before you get too excited, the trailers showed off come from…

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On Wednesday, the field director for Mel Gagarin’s congressional campaign sat shirtless — illuminated by candlelight — in his bathtub reading a scary story over Instagram Live. “Bedtime Bathtime Storytimes” have become regular events for Gagarin’s campaign even if they’re only for an audience of around a dozen people, including other members of the campaign.…

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Despite pandemic-related hardware shortages, Facebook’s virtual reality business exploded at the start of 2020. The company revealed yesterday that it made $297 million in non-advertising revenue during the first quarter of 2020. That was “driven largely by sales of Oculus products,” rather than other products like Portal. The number is a full 80 percent higher…

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Trying to describe Quibi’s essence to people is difficult. There are shows where food explodes in chefs’ faces, series about flipping murder homes, and Chrissy Teigen presiding over a small claims court. Quibi’s best content operates on the belief that “the more ludicrous, the better,” but that’s easier to show than tell. Or it would…

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