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Verge 02/16/2019 11:15
Respawn’s Apex Legends is a huge hit . The free-to-play battle royale shooter is closing out its second week since release, and it’s still retaining its top spot on the Twitch leaderboards following its successful first e-sports event . Top streamers like Ninja and Shroud continue to play the game on a daily basis, and it’s looking like it could have a healthy life as a top-tier competitive game if Respawn puts the resources into building out a proper tournament structure. But one element of the game that may affect its long-term popularity is its business model, with many players worried that Apex ’s in-game prices are too expensive. As a free-to-play title, Apex Legends has to generate revenue somehow, and the best way to do that in an...
Verge 02/16/2019 11:00
In the US, Presidents’ Day is on Monday, February 18th. Banks will be closed as will some other stores and institutions, so check before you make the trek out if you have the day off. The biggest retailers, like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target, are all on the clock, though, and we’re seeing some of the best deals of the year from them. Some of the price cuts begin on Monday or even Tuesday in some cases, but there are a lot of sales that you can take advantage of right now. We’ll be updating this post when a deal you should know about goes live. Phones and accessories. Google is hosting a buy one, get one 50 percent off promo for its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. To get those savings, add two phones to your cart and check out. Apple’s iPhone X... Co.
Verge 02/16/2019 10:00
We’re just a few days away from Samsung’s giant 10th anniversary Galaxy S10 event on February 20th , and it’s looking like it’ll be one of the biggest phone announcements Samsung has ever made. Fortunately, given that we live in a world where leaks are plentiful and manufacturers aren’t even trying to keep secrets anymore, we already know a ton about Samsung’s new phones. So if you can’t wait for the official announcement on February 20th, here’s everything we know so far:. Image: Evan Blass. The S10 and S10 Plus. The core of Samsung’s lineup will stay the same as the last few years: there’s a regular S10 model and a larger S10 Plus, this time with 6.1-inch and 6.3-inch displays, respectively. And thanks to a complete... Continue reading…
Verge 02/16/2019 09:00
American speculative fiction can trace its roots back to the country’s puritanical origins, which left its mark on a wide range of authors. Starting with Nathaniel Hawthorne and continuing through Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood, these writers focus on the role that their characters play in society at large, and what those societies do to keep their subjects in line. That influence cuts through Ben H. Winters’ latest novel, Golden State , in which a police officer uncovers a troubling conspiracy in an alternate future where truth is absolute, and where lying is swiftly and severely punished. The country of Golden State sits on what used to be California, and Winters quickly illustrates the state’s response to lying. His main... Continue.
Verge 02/16/2019 08:53
We finally know when Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune will come out: November 20th, 2020, according to Variety . The film is the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 science fiction novel, set on a desert planet in a feudal galaxy. Villeneuve comes to the film with an impressive track record when it comes to science fiction, first with his first contact film Arrival , and with Blade Runner 2049 . Last year, the director said in an interview that his goal was to direct two films , which Herbert’s son Brian backed up, saying that the first screenplay roughly covered the first half of the novel . Already, we’ve seen a steady drip of casting news, revealing a spectacular cast for the project. Villeneuve’s film is the latest...
Verge 02/15/2019 17:55
President Trump tweeted a video today from a YouTuber known for winning an Infowars meme contest. The video, from a creator who goes by Carpe Donktum , primarily mocks the reactions of Democrats who attended this year’s State of the Union. Trump didn’t call out Donktum or Donktum’s channel specifically (although there is a watermark on the video), but far-right personalities like Mike Cernovich and Scott Adams congratulated Donktum on the newfound attention. Trump has sparked controversy retweeting far-right sources in the past. Trump has tweeted images and videos that originated with the far-right online community before, sometimes provoking controversy. Trump found himself under international criticism last year after retweeting... Continu.
Verge 02/15/2019 17:16
Apple has acquired a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence startup called PullString that specializes in helping companies build conversational voice apps, according to a report from Axios . Pullstring was founded back in 2011 by former Pixar employees — its CEO, Oren Jacob, is Pixar’s former chief technology officer. Up until now, PullString was most well known within the tech industry as the software backbone behind voice systems for popular toys, like Mattell’s talking Hello Barbie doll . It’s not clear what Apple will be getting out of the deal, which is said to be worth under $100 million, but well over the $44 million in venture capital funding PullString has amassed thus far. But beyond toys, PullString has also worked on the..
Verge 02/15/2019 16:46
Portrait mode causes some uncomfortable tension between two parents in Apple’s latest iPhone commercial, which has got to be one of the funnier spots that the company has produced in some time. In the ad, one mother is swiping through photos of the group’s kids when another notices that her son has been blurred and made unrecognizable by the iPhone’s portrait mode. She asks, “Did you... bokeh my child?” The ensuing conversation demonstrates how the effect can be dialed back or turned off altogether to get both kids in sharp focus — but the damage has already been done. Be considerate with your bokeh, people. This is also advice that extends to Android, as many devices now offer adjustable portrait blur. Apple doesn’t usually go for... Conti.
Verge 02/15/2019 16:39
Twitter lets users delete direct messages from their own side of the conversation (the recipient will still get to keep a copy, unless they also choose to delete it). But it turns out, those deleted messages aren’t really getting removed at all, according to a report from security researcher Karan Saini, via TechCrunch . It turns out that despite showing that the message was deleted, Twitter still stores all those DMs dating back years. Folks can access this simply by downloading the archived data on their account from Twitter. Saini confirms that even messages sent to and from deleted or suspended accounts are still accessible. Now, this isn’t the most concerning of bugs — the data appears to only be available to the user that sent or... C.
Verge 02/15/2019 16:24
Uber filed a lawsuit on Friday to overturn New York City’s first-in-the-nation law capping the number of ride-hail drivers that operate on its streets. The law, which went into effect last August, paused the issuance of new licenses to drivers for 12 months. But Uber wants the law overturned for fear that the city will ultimately make the cap permanent. The law was part of a sweeping legislative package passed by the New York City Council last summer to give regulators more control over e-hail companies. In addition to the cap, the city council also approved a minimum pay standard among drivers, with the goal of reducing how much time empty cars spend on the road. Uber fears the city will ultimately make the cap permanent. Supporters... Cont.
Verge 02/15/2019 16:18
After enduring the longest government shutdown in history, NASA stands to receive a big boost in funding for fiscal year 2019, thanks to a new budget bill signed by President Trump today . The legislation, which funds the federal government through September 30th, 2019, would give NASA $21.5 billion — an increase over last year’s budget of $20.7 billion and much more than the $19.9 billion the agency asked for. Practically every major program within NASA will receive a boost. The agency’s science programs, which cover planetary missions and Earth science, will receive a total $6.9 billion, up from $6.2 billion from last year. The human exploration program will get $5 billion, while it got $4.79 billion in 2018. many of the NASA missions...
Verge 02/15/2019 15:43
Pokémon Go developer Niantic has agreed to settle a lawsuit with people who had PokéStops placed near their houses, and it’s making some minor game changes as part of the deal. The settlement appeared in court filings yesterday, and it’s still awaiting a judge’s approval. It won’t resolve some big legal questions about how augmented reality mixes with physical property laws — but it should make life easier for people who find unwanted Pokémon Go players around their homes. Niantic agreed to implement several new features and policies under the settlement , which will be binding for the next three years. Homeowners can already have pokémon gyms or PokéStops removed from private property, but Niantic now promises to resolve complaints... Cont.
Verge 02/15/2019 15:38
I love Twitter, so it’s a real shame that it’s owned by the Twitter corporation. In many ways Twitter is already a human artifact worthy of history books, but as a software product in 2019, it stinks. The company’s crowning achievements in the past decade include replacing a star icon with a heart, doubling the length of tweets, and solving harassment with blog posts . Twitter’s upside is world-shaking and poetic — and that’s why its delinquent stewardship is so frustrating. This week brought another bizarre interview with Jack Dorsey , and a fresh round of promises by the Twitter CEO to maybe someday do something useful with his company’s product. Well, I’m not buying it — fucking up constantly is in Twitter’s DNA — but I do have three...
Verge 02/15/2019 13:32
Rapper and Fyre Festival investor Ja Rule hasn’t seen either Netflix or Hulu’s Fyre Festival documentaries , which may help explain why he believes a second attempt at organizing a similar festival is a good idea. TMZ asked Ja Rule about his thoughts on the various Fyre Festival documentaries, which detail the massive failure and ongoing legal issues facing the most disastrous festival in recent history, his former business partner and festival organizer, Billy McFarland , and how he’s doing in a post-Fyre Festival world.
Verge 02/15/2019 13:30
When rumors surfaced last week that Amazon was having second thoughts about its New York headquarters, most observers took it as a bargaining move. Locals were pushing Amazon for more concessions, and if the company seemed ready to walk away, it might take the pressure off. With so much time and money invested, it seemed irrational to simply call it off. For months, local politicians had been pushing Amazon on taxes and unionization. Activists booed executives out of city council meetings while protests circled the proposed construction site. With the mayor and governor bought in, no one thought they could stop the project entirely, but maybe if they made enough noise, they could unionize the janitors in the new buildings or shame Amazon...
Verge 02/15/2019 12:45
Recently, I’ve been reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. James is known for winning the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his 2015 book A Brief History of Seven Killings , and he indicated after his win that he wanted to take on epic fantasy, saying that he was “sick and tired ... of arguing about whether there should be a black hobbit in Lord of the Rings. African folklore is just as rich, and just as perverse as that shit.”The resulting book is Black Leopard, Red Wolf , the first of a projected trilogy, and it showcases James’ attitude as it follows a man known as Tracker as he’s hired to track down a missing child in a fantastical Africa. The book is an engrossing read, rich in detail and visceral in its action as Tracker...

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