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Verge 09/22/2020 21:18
Image: Microsoft. If you are planning to design your very own Xbox controller ahead of the Xbox Series X and S launch on November 10th, you might want to act fast. Microsoft is temporarily shutting down its Xbox Design Lab on October 14th. Announced back in 2016, Xbox Design Lab brings to the Xbox One controller. For $80, you have access to over 40 different color options for the various parts of the controller, adding up to over a million different combinations in total. A couple years ago, I designed one for a close friend and was amazed how much customization I could do; it didn’t feel like I was just creating another color variant, but a truly unique personalized product. My friend loved it, telling me they...
Verge 09/22/2020 19:50
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. Tesla will make electric vehicle batteries with cobalt-free cathodes, it announced during its Battery Day event today. The announcement came as part of the company’s move to instead of purchasing them. Musk didn’t give a timeline for going to a zero-cobalt battery. Cobalt is the most expensive material used in batteries, so eliminating it from the mix was expected help to electric vehicles become as affordable as those that run on gas. Tesla now says it can make a — $10,000 less than its cheapest model — because of the improvements it’s made to its batteries, including axing cobalt. “It’s absolutely critical that we make cars that people can people can actually afford,” Musk said today....
Verge 09/22/2020 19:34
Photo by Adi Robertson / The Verge. SXSW, the annual tech, music, and film meetup held in downtown Austin was due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The festival’s organizers announced today that it will host an online-only version of the weeklong event next year. will take place from March 16th through March 20th, 2021. Throughout the week, organizers say attendees will be able to check out film and music screenings and take part in other activities such as exhibitions and networking opportunities, but they’ll all be online.
Verge 09/22/2020 19:14
Photo by Tamara Warren / The Verge. As part of its Battery Day presentation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off video of the new “Plaid” version of its Model S sedan, a step up from its “Ludicrous” model. According to the specs on Tesla’s website, the long-awaited Plaid powertrain will have a range between charges of 520 miles, get from zero-to-60 in under two seconds, and a top speed of 200mph. The price is listed on Tesla’s website at $139,990. Musk has been for a while, and showed a video last year of a Tesla with the Plaid powertrain, noting it would “cost more than our current offerings.” (The name is apparently a reference from the Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs.) The Plaid Model S debuted last September at the Laguna Seca raceway, where it r.
Verge 09/22/2020 19:06
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge. Today, Microsoft launched pre-orders for its upcoming next generation console, the Xbox One X. Sorry, I meant the Xbox Series X. Can you blame me? There’s only one word of difference between the two names, and it’s the one in the middle. There are also three X’s. I might not be the only one who gets them confused, though. ( has, but I digress.) Despite today being pre-order day for the Series X (reminder: the new one), the One X (the old one) had a banner day on Amazon as well, 747 percent on Amazon’s . Xbox One X sales rank is up 747% on Amazon lol... Wonder how many people bought an Xbox One X instead of an Xbox Series X. —...
Verge 09/22/2020 19:03
Tesla announced that it will dramatically reduce the cost of its battery cells and packs — which means the company’s new goal is a $25,000 electric car. The company’s CEO Elon Musk said its , as well as by changing the materials inside the cell, will allow Tesla to “halve” the price per kilowatt-hour, which will make electric cars roughly the same price as combustion engine ones. The price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the unit of energy most commonly used to measure the capacity of the battery packs in modern electric vehicles. Those prices have been falling dramatically over the last decade, from $1,100/kWh in 2010 to $156/kWh in 2019, a drop of 87 percent. Experts predict that the price will hit $100/kWh by...
Verge 09/22/2020 18:49
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. Tesla plans to build in a new cathode plant for its batteries in North America, to help reduce supply chain costs and simplify cathode production, CEO Elon Musk said today at the company’s battery event. The current process is not efficient, Musk said, and it’s making improvements to the process that will make cathodes 76 percent cheaper, and produce zero wastewater.
Verge 09/22/2020 18:30
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge. iOS 14 has a lot of iPhones looking pretty different these days — some with classy monochrome color schemes, others with pastel styles ripped right off of Pinterest, and some that look like they’re straight out of or emulating . The changes aren’t some new, radical shift by Apple, but rather a viral wave of enthusiastic users to bring an unprecedented level of customization to the usually rigid Apple-enforced design of the OS. It turns out that lots of people have been dying to theme iOS, and as any number of viral videos displaying lavishly designed homescreens show, they’re going to great lengths to do it.
Verge 09/22/2020 18:18
Tesla unveiled plans Tuesday to develop a “tabless” battery that improve an electric car’s range and power. The company will produce its new batteries in-house, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts will help dramatically reduce costs and allow the company to sell electric vehicles for the same price as gasoline-powered ones. The battery is expected to lower Tesla’s cost per kilowatt-hour, the unit of energy most commonly used to measure the capacity of the battery packs in modern electric vehicles. Many experts believe that lowering these costs would allow Tesla to dramatically lower the price of its cars, thereby making them far more accessible. The news of the new battery was announced during the company’s much-hyped “Battery Day” event...
Verge 09/22/2020 18:05
Image: OnePlus. It looks like OnePlus might finally make 120Hz smartphones more affordable — because its upcoming OnePlus 8T will include that higher refresh rate, the company confirmed today. The T-series of OnePlus phones typically serve as a half-step between its numbered phones, but bring premium features from the company’s Pro models, like that 120Hz screen, to a lower price. , by bringing the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 90Hz screen to $599. While we don’t know quite how much the OnePlus 8T will cost, 120Hz screens typically come at a premium: the and each cost $1,000 to start; gaming phones such as Asus’ $900 ROG Phone II and the $800 Razer Phone 2 also have 120Hz screens, but to...
Verge 09/22/2020 17:21
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge. The initial wave of preorders for the Xbox Series X and S have sold out at all major retailers. Of course, there’s still a chance that you’ll find one in stock if you click through one of the many links on , but this morning’s rush of orders seems to have scooped most of the consoles up. Though, if you were trying to order a console earlier today, there was a decent chance that you were actually able to get that done. So Microsoft’s plan for giving retailers and people plenty of time to prepare for preorders to start seems to have worked, at least up against last week’s surprisingly disastrous Sony PS5 preorder process, which kicked off . M...
Verge 09/22/2020 16:18
Blockbuster movies don’t get much stranger than the Disney live-action remake. Beginning in earnest with 2015’s Cinderella (2014 if you count Maleficent , which I do not), there’s been at least one new film every year, culminating in 2019 with a staggering four live-action remakes of animated classics. Just about every single one of them is an oddity: massively successful but never really beloved — buzzed about more for the litany of ways they disappoint than their box-office success. You’d think some of them became by accident, falling ass-backwards into piles of money the vast majority of filmmakers have never dreamed of making. Watching them all — and you can watch just about every one now, thanks to Disney Plus —...
Verge 09/22/2020 16:08
Image by Alex Castro / The Verge. Microsoft has expanded its ongoing partnership with San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research company OpenAI with a , an auto-generating text program that’s emerged as the . The two companies are already entwined through OpenAI’s , with Azure being the platform on which OpenAI accesses the vast computing resources it needs to train many of its models, and a to become OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider.
Verge 09/22/2020 15:12
A satellite image showing Paulette’s rainfall on September 22 |. Tropical Storm Paulette just came back to life in the eastern Atlantic. The revival comes days after storm trackers issued what would have been . But you can’t keep a storm like Paulette down — it’s come back as a zombie. “Zombie” isn’t a technical designation, just a nickname for storms that peter out, only to come back from the dead when conditions allow. For a tropical storm to form (or rise again) it needs favorable wind conditions, . It also needs to have the , with a . That structure is what Paulette briefly lost last week, causing its untimely “demise.”In other news,...
Verge 09/22/2020 14:46
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. Google is shutting down paid Chrome extensions offered on the Chrome Web Store, the company . That means that developers who are trying to monetize their extensions will have to do so with other payment-handling systems. As of Monday, developers can no longer make new paid extensions, according to Google — though that’s cementing a policy that has already been in place since March. And that policy follows a temporary suspension of publishing paid extensions in January after an uptick in fraudulent transactions that “aim[ed] to exploit users.”Google will gradually phase out other functionality over the coming months, and on February 1st, Google says that existing extensions can no longer charge custom.
Verge 09/22/2020 14:16
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. Steam has added a big update to its experimental news hub feature: the from a list of publications curated by . The first collection of sources includes “top sites serving players across seven languages,” the company wrote in a . And the whole thing is free. Obviously, the list of publications and sources is customizable, and alongside articles and blurbs players will be able to view videos and other media directly in Steam’s hub. The idea is that the hub should be totally personalized, so you’ll have control over what sources you see (while also, of course, being able to discover new outlets you might enjoy). It’s an interesting move from Steam: the platform is...
Verge 09/22/2020 13:32
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. An internal Amazon email seen by The Verge confirms that its Prime Day shopping event will take place October 13th and 14th, and that the company will make an official announcement September 27th. In a separate internal email, Amazon warehouse workers were told no new vacation requests would be accepted between October 13th and October 20th, which suggests that the company needs all hands on deck for Prime Day. An Amazon spokesperson said in an email to The Verge that the company has not announced any dates for Prime Day.
Verge 09/22/2020 13:23
Image: Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli has released a treasure trove of 400 free-to-use images from eight of its classic movies. The images, which are available on the , come from From Up On Poppy Hill , Ponyo , Spirited Away , The Tale of The Princess Kaguya , The Secret World of Arrietty , Tales From Earthsea , When Marnie Was There , and The Wind Rises. Studio Ghibli says it will release images from all of its films over time. “From this month, we will provide scene photos of all Studio Ghibli works in sequence,” reads a Google-translated message at the top of the . “This month, we will provide 8 works, mainly new works, for a total of 400 pieces. Feel free to use it within the bounds of common sense.”Ghibli movies are renowned...

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