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Verge 01/20/2020 07:36
Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the US have started using a new facial recognition system from Clearview AI, a new has revealed. The database is made up of billions of images scraped from millions of sites including Facebook, YouTube, and Venmo. The Times says that Clearview AI’s work could “end privacy as we know it,” and the piece is well worth a read in its entirety. The use of facial recognition systems by police is already a , but the scale of Clearview AI’s database, not to mention the methods it used to assemble it, is particularly troubling. The Clearview system is built upon a database of over three billion images scraped from the internet, a process which may have...
Verge 01/20/2020 05:30
Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge. Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has called for new regulations in the world of AI, highlighting the dangers posed by technology like facial recognition and deepfakes, while stressing that any legislation must balance “potential harms ... with social opportunities.”“[T]here is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to,” writes Pichai in an . “The only question is how to approach it.”Although Pichai says new regulation is needed, he advocates a cautious approach that might not see many significant controls placed on AI. He notes that for some products like self-driving cars, “appropriate new rules” sho.
Verge 01/20/2020 04:54
Instagram launched its IGTV service in June 2018. | Image: Instagram. Instagram is removing the IGTV shortcut button from the top right corner of the Facebook-owned app’s home screen, . First , IGTV is Instagram’s long-form video service that was originally meant to rival the likes of YouTube. Instagram says it decided to remove the button after discovering that relatively few people were tapping it. “Most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators’ profiles and the standalone app,” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch, “very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app.”Screenshot by Jon Porter / The Verge. The shortcut button co.
Verge 01/20/2020 02:35
Samsung’s new mobile chief Roh Tae-moon. | Samsung Electronics. Samsung Electronics has appointed Roh Tae-moon its new mobile chief, taking over from co-ceo DJ Koh, who’ll continue to lead the chaebol’s IT and mobile communications division. Roh, 52, is said to be “an engineering maven,” , “who’s meticulous about phone features.”Roh joined Samsung in 1997 and has been a key player in the research and development of the Galaxy device lineups. He’s also been instrumental in cutting costs, , through the outsourcing of handset production to better compete with Chinese handset makers like Huawei. Samsung continues to , but has seen an increase in competition at the low- and mid-tier levels from Chinese competitors like...
Verge 01/20/2020 02:04
Netflix has the rights to 21 feature films from the beloved Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli for all regions outside the US, Canada, and Japan. The company will add the movies to its library in waves starting next month. Until very recently, Studio Ghibli refused to offer digital versions of its content in any format. Last month the company , however, and WarnerMedia announced that it had for its upcoming spring launch of HBO Max. From February 2020, 21 films from the legendary animation house Studio Ghibli are coming exclusively to Netflix. We’re proud to bring beloved, influential stories like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro to...
Verge 01/19/2020 23:34
Epic Games has just released an for the iOS version of Fortnite that unlocks a niche-but-cool feature if you have the hardware to support it: a 120 frames per second mode for the latest (2018) iPad Pro. This mode makes the most of the screen’s high refresh rate to deliver ultra-smooth performance. The update also adds support for controller thumbstick buttons. I checked the 120 fps mode out for a few rounds, and while I’m not sure how many people play competitive Fortnite on an iPad, the difference is noticeable. The frame rate does occasionally drop down into the 100s or 90s, which I’m sure will happen more often if you’re playing for hours on end, but otherwise the game does indeed deliver the advertised 120 fps.
Verge 01/19/2020 11:00
It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend. I was really into playing open-world games when the genre was still new. While I didn’t complete everything in those early Assassin’s Creed games, or in the original Crackdown or Infamous , I did spend a lot of time doing pretty much everything the games had to offer. These days, however, I find it pretty difficult to devote enough time to finish the main quest line of an open-world game, never mind the additional stuff. But The Touryst scratches that itch, only in a much shorter time frame. The Touryst is a platformer /...
Verge 01/18/2020 12:00
(NASA/Joel Kowsky). On Sunday, SpaceX is launching one of its last big flight tests for NASA, one that could ultimately pave the way for the company to fly people to space later this year. For this flight, SpaceX on its new passenger spacecraft — and will probably destroy a Falcon 9 rocket in the process. The vehicle that SpaceX is testing is its new Crew Dragon capsule, a passenger spacecraft the company has been developing for NASA as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew program. Before NASA will let its astronauts fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the agency wants to know that the vehicle can keep people safe in the unlikely event of an emergency. That’s what this weekend’s test, known as an in-flight abort test, is...
Verge 01/18/2020 10:00
Image: Sony Pictures. With all the noise around how there’ll probably never be a second season of Watchmen this week, I figured I should finally get around to writing about Watchmen since it’s been weeks since it wrapped up. There was a ton I liked about the series: the show within a show; the oddball, barely explained side characters; the way it reframes some of the graphic novel’s biggest ideas.
Verge 01/17/2020 19:43
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge. Lenovo hasn’t made the best bets in virtual reality so far, but it seems like the company’s about to try again — according to for the "Lenovo VR3030S," which company docs identify as an upcoming standalone VR headset. Standalone means that like or the Oculus Quest, it shouldn’t require you to plug in a phone or PC, because the processing power is built right in.
Verge 01/17/2020 17:22
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge. You might have read headlines today about how the EU is looking to force Apple to ditch the Lightning cable. That’s not really true. Since 2009, the European Commission has been trying to convince tech companies to adopt a single wall charger instead of opting for a proprietary method, one that can power any and all portable devices. And now, following by the Commission at Parliament that calls for stricter enforcement on the matter — possibly to the point of regulation — a few publications have been erroneously convinced that this action could lead to disappearing once and for all, and across the board. But that’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of...
Verge 01/17/2020 16:57
Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images. Google added tiny favicon icons to its search results this week for some reason, creating more clutter in what used to be a clean interface, and seemingly without actually improving the results or the user experience. The company says it’s to make clearer where information is coming from, but how? To give you an idea of how minimal the change is, here’s what it looked like when Google made the same tweak last year to the browsing experience on phones:. In my Chrome desktop browser, it feels like an aggravating, unnecessary change that doesn’t actually help the user determine how good, bad, or reputable an actual search result might be. Yes, ads are still clearly marked with the word “ad,” which is a good...
Verge 01/17/2020 15:16
For practically as long as the Nintendo Switch and its removable Joy-Con controllers has existed, fans have been mocking up and wishing for Joy-Con-style GameCube controllers to use with the portable console. But did more than just dream: he spent months , combining Joy-Con internals with original GameCube hardware to build the ultimate Switch accessory. For the best look at the entire modification process, you should check out the full video on the Shank Mod YouTube channel, which gives a detailed and well-explained breakdown of the process.
Verge 01/17/2020 15:01
Microsoft is unveiling its first TV commercial for Microsoft Teams this weekend. A 30-second ad will air during Sunday’s NFL playoffs, and will also be shown in the UK, France, and Germany next month. Dubbed “The Power of Teams,” the ad opens with boring business meetings, flip charts, ancient speaker phones, and slidedecks printed on paper before quickly moving on to Teams. Microsoft has been aligning its Teams software as the , and this ad plays into that. This TV commercial, which also includes Microsoft’s latest Surface hardware, is obviously designed to take on Slack in markets that may consider the rival group chat software over Microsoft’s alternative. Microsoft has successfully chased and.
Verge 01/17/2020 15:00
Image: Moog. Moog has officially announced a new synth called Subsequent 25 at this year’s . Replacing the adored Sub Phatty synth, Moog’s made several tweaks with the Subsequent 25 that make it capable of delivering even more powerful bass and thicker leads than its predecessor. The Subsequent 25 is Moog’s most compact keyboard synthesizer, which the company says makes it a fit for both stage and studio. Some will balk at the synth’s teeny size (the entire thing is just over 20 inches long!), but there’s appeal if you’re looking for that classic, beefy Moog sound in a pint-sized footprint. Building upon the success of the and , the Subsequent 25 is a two-note paraphonic analog synth that comes with...
Verge 01/17/2020 13:01
Photo by Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images. Next month, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles will release the latest batch of reports from companies testing self-driving vehicles in the state. But the reports offer, at best, a flawed glimpse into the slow and often opaque process of testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, says Kyle Vogt, co-founder and CTO of GM-based Cruise. In a , Vogt posits that maybe it’s time for a new metric for reporting safety of self-driving cars. By law, all companies that are actively testing self-driving cars on public roads in California are required to disclose the number of miles driven and the frequency in which human safety drivers were forced to take control of their autonomous veh.
Verge 01/17/2020 12:26
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge. of 20th Century Fox last year is complete, and now the company is looking to phase out the "Fox" branding in its new assets: the 20th Century Fox film studio is being rebranded to just "20th Century Studios," and Fox Searchlight Pictures is now "Searchlight Pictures," according to a . The move away from the Fox brand isn’t entirely surprising, given that Fox Corporation — the remaining piece of the original Fox brand — still exists and runs things like Fox News, Fox Sports, and the Fox TV channel that weren’t sold to Disney.

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