Elon Musk’s boring machine completes the first section of an LA tunnel

See the original posting on The Verge

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk says his ambitious tunnel-boring endeavor, aptly named The Boring Company, has officially started digging underneath Los Angeles. Musk announced the news on Twitter, where he said “Godot,” the Samuel Beckett-inspired name of the company’s tunnel boring machine, had completed the the first segment of a tunnel in the Southern California metropolis. Prior to today, it was unclear how long it would take Musk to convince the city to allow him to move the experimental effort beyond the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne.

Musk has made a rather public showing of his offbeat tunnel-digging venture over the last few months, with an occasional flurry of Twitter announcements and Instagram posts to commemorate each new…

Continue reading…

PornHub now has videos that synchronize with connected sex toys

See the original posting on The Verge

If Joseph Gordon Levitt in the movie Don Jon taught me anything about how men watch porn, it’s that some people are willing to put a whole lot of effort in to find the perfect clip and time themselves along with on-camera action. About four years after the film’s release, it looks like PornHub has figured out the ideal solution in the form of interactive videos that synchronize with a connected sex toy.

PornHub’s launch partners include Fleshlight and Kiiroo, and there will be a new category on the website that contains videos that can be synced to a toy. Depending on what’s happening in the video, the toys will simulate the action with pulses — removing the need to perform your own manual labor. And yes, it will work with one of F…

Continue reading…

Now your nightlight can notify you of retweets and emails

See the original posting on The Verge

Aumi Mini is a new project on Kickstarter from the creator of Aumi, a Bluetooth nightlight which was funded on Kickstarter in 2015 and shipped to backers this year. The new Mini model is way more ambitious, however. It’s a USB-powered nightlight that connects to your Wi-Fi, and includes IFTTT support for getting into all sorts of automated shenanigans.

The exact sort internet events you’d like a nightlight to inform you of is, of course, entirely up to you. A few examples offered by Aumi include weather alerts, Wi-Fi-is-down notifications, and and smart home integration. Personally I’d like to use one to keep track of my unread emails. A light that will never fade.

The nightlight can also trigger its own events based on the built-in…

Continue reading…

This glass sticker turns your MacBook’s trackpad into a number pad

See the original posting on The Verge

It’s pretty rare to see a laptop with a full number pad. In fact, none of Apple’s MacBooks have ever had one. But if you’re someone who does some serious number crunching, Nums might be able to help.

Currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, Nums is essentially a giant glass panel that attaches to the top of your MacBook’s multi-touch trackpad, adding an overlay for a traditional numpad along with a few quick launch gestures. Obviously, just sticking some numbers onto your trackpad won’t turn it into a number pad. Nums creator Luckey is also developing a driver for Apple’s computers that allows users to quickly switch the trackpad to number-entry mode, as well as open the calculator app and even serve as a quick launcher for websites…

Continue reading…

Hundreds of LG OLED TV owners are petitioning for Dolby Atmos support

See the original posting on The Verge

Netflix announced today that it’ll start supporting Dolby Atmos surround sound for select titles later this month, starting with Okja. That’s great news: Atmos is the next generation of surround formats, using audio processing to place sounds in 3-D space around you instead of just playing things through individual surround speakers.

But Netflix is only going to support Atmos on the Xbox One, One S, and and 2017 LG OLED TVs at first. That’s a short list — made even worse because 2016 LG OLED TV owners have been persistently asking LG to add Atmos support to their TVs for a while now. There are long AVSForum threads, deep dives into the technical details of Atmos compatibility, and reps from streaming companies like Vudu saying they’ve…

Continue reading…

How the iPhone changed passive-aggression

See the original posting on The Verge

The iPhone is 10 years old, which means, if I am being totally honest with you, that I do not remember a time in which it didn’t exist. However, I do remember a time in which I didn’t have one! In the summer of 2014, I moved to New York City for an internship at a now-defunct literary magazine run out of an apartment in Washington Heights, and I still had a generic, sliding camera phone. I looked up directions to any place that I needed to go on Google Maps on my laptop before I left the house and took photos of them.

To be honest, my life was fine. Who cares? If you get a little lost in New York City, whatever. It’s like being in a Lorde song or a 30-minute dramedy, and afterwards maybe you have a good story. My life now — iPhone…

Continue reading…

Pay attention: Practice can make your brain better at focusing

See the original posting on The Verge

Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says. This might explain why learning a new skill can start out feeling grueling, but eventually feels more natural — although right now, the study’s findings are limited to a simple pattern-recognition game.

There’s a long-standing debate about how exactly paying attention helps us learn. One theory is that focusing makes the critical piece of information stand out. If you imagine trying to pick out a single instrument in an orchestra, that would be like turning up the volume on the violin to make it easier to hear. Another theory is that focusing…

Continue reading…

Showtime’s standalone subscription service now has an Xbox One app

See the original posting on The Verge

Showtime’s standalone streaming service is now available on the Xbox One, which joins Apple, Roku, Amazon, Google, and Samsung in offering the over-the-top service. Users will be able to subscribe to Showtime for $10.99 per month directly through the Xbox One application, and there’s a seven-day free trial for new subscribers.

So if you’re looking to watch Homeland, Billions, Ray Donovan, The Affair, Shameless, the resurrected Twin Peaks, or anything else in Showtime’s back catalog of movies and TV shows, have an Xbox One, and don’t pay for Showtime through cable already, you can download the new app here.

Continue reading…

Toshiba’s new quadruple-level 3D cells could be the next big thing in low-cost flash memory

See the original posting on The Verge

Toshiba announced today that it has successfully developed what it claims to be the world’s first QLC — quadruple-level cell — 4-bit flash memory in a 3D flash device.

That’s pretty big news for the future of flash memory, creating even higher storage density at cheaper prices. Flash memory (very, very loosely) works by using a series of floating gate transistors with a charge value that is either assigned a “0” or “1” — one bit. These memory blocks are either arranged in a two-dimensional plane (planar NAND) or stacked in a more space efficient column (3D NAND, which is still relatively new).

To maximize storage, either of those memory blocks — whether in a 2D plane or stacked — can be divided up into more charge levels for even more…

Continue reading…

You can now sign up for early access to Google’s wacky Area 120 app experiments

See the original posting on The Verge

Area 120 is the name for Google’s in-house startup incubator that has developed a variety of odd apps. These include Uptime, a social YouTube app that recently opened to the public; the voice-based Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger; and the just announced Advr, which is experimenting with VR advertisements.

Google is officially putting Area 120 (which derives its name as a place that spends 100 percent of its time working on 20 percent projects) in a more public-facing place today: a new central website where users can sign up for early access to future Area 120 experiments.

There isn’t much else beyond an option to sign up for now, but if the new page is anything to go by, there should be more to come from Area 120 soon.

Continue reading…

Intel’s new budget SSDs offer more performance for the same price

See the original posting on The Verge

If you typically buy your computers pre-built, it might surprise you to learn that a 512GB SSD isn’t 4 million dollars. You can get a good 500-ish GB SSD from Samsung or Crucial for around $150. But Intel just showed up with some new first-to-the-market tech that might shake things up a bit. Its new SSD 545s is based on 64-layer TLC 3D NAND technology, which means it can squeeze more data onto fewer chips. That makes fast SSDs with big capacities and pro-level performance presumably more affordable.

Intel’s intro 545s model is a 512GB drive with a $179 price tag. The drive’s main win over Intel’s similarly priced 540s model is sustained write speeds. Since this is a SATA drive, the drive is mostly capped by SATA speeds in the real world….

Continue reading…

Final Fantasy XV’s mobile strategy spinoff launches today

See the original posting on The Verge

The newest addition to the Final Fantasy XV universe goes in a very different direction. Today sees the launch of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire on iOS and Android, a game developed by the same studio behind lucrative (and heavily advertised) mobile games Game of War and Mobile Strike. Much like those games, the new FFXV spinoff is an online-focused strategy game, where players build up a base and army, while forming allegiances with and battling against other players. Like the main version of the game — which debuted in November — A New Empire will take place in the futuristic world of Eos, and will star the same cast of familiar characters.

A New Empire is just the latest in an ever-growing lineup of spinoffs based on FFXV. Most…

Continue reading…

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 450 chip will power the next wave of budget Android phones

See the original posting on The Verge

Qualcomm has formally announced the successor to its current low-end processor, the Snapdragon 435, in the form of the upcoming Snapdragon 450. While the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 may get all the attention, the budget Android phone — like the LG X Venture or ZTE Blade V8 — runs off Qualcomm’s cheaper chips. That makes this a significant upgrade, especially with companies like Google pushing cheaper Android phones for a wider range of customers.

With that in mind, Qualcomm is highlighting four major improvements in the 450 over the previous generation. First up are the somewhat obvious improvements in CPU and GPU speed, which the company notes is up to 25 percent faster than the 435. That increase…

Continue reading…

Netflix is bringing Dolby Atmos surround sound to its original content starting with Okja

See the original posting on The Verge

Video streaming services have become the site for mini-platform wars unto themselves, with different services rolling out 4K, high-dynamic range video, and other improvements as they jockey for position. Today Netflix announced that it is adding the immersive Dolby Atmos sound format to its repertoire, and the first film to receive the treatment is Bong Joon-ho’s Okja. The film is also being presented in Dolby Vision, the company’s high-dynamic range video format.

Surround sound has been around in movie theaters and at homes for decades, but Atmos — which launched back in 2012 — gives filmmakers increased flexibility in their creative choices. Ceiling-mounted speakers offer the ability to place sound above the audience, but more…

Continue reading…

You can now design custom Snapchat geofilters from your phone

See the original posting on The Verge

As of today, you can design your own Snap geofilters from right inside the app.

The ability to create custom geofilters has been available since last year, but until now, the only way to design them was with an image-editing software or Snapchat’s web tool. Now, simply enter the app’s settings and tap on “On-Demand Geofilters” to access the new mobile creative studio, which offers themes like “wedding” and “graduation” that can be personalized with text, Bitmoji, and stickers.

Once complete, select the geographic location where you would like the filter to appear, and when — from as short as an hour to as long as 90 days. The price for each custom filter starts at $5.99, and it takes about one business day for Snap to approve it.

S…

Continue reading…

Google Photos’ new sharing features are starting to roll out

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is now starting to roll out the major new sharing features announced for Google Photos last month.

The update adds a dedicated “sharing” tab to the bottom of the app and several different ways to share photos. For one, the app will now suggest photos for you to share and who you might want to share them with. The feature is largely based around facial recognition: if Google realizes you regularly share photos of a specific person with a specific email address, it will offer to send them any new pictures.

Photos’ sharing tab will also display a feed of all the pictures and albums that have been shared with you, so it’ll get a bit easier to look through shared photos, too.

But the…

Continue reading…

LG’s new 77-inch OLED wallpaper TV is now available for the price of a new car

See the original posting on The Verge

LG’s wallpaper-thin W series of 4K OLED TVs wowed us at CES with their almost impossibly slim design. And while the “cheaper” — to say that this is a relative term is a bit of an understatement — $7,999 65-inch model has been available for a while, if you’ve been holding out for the flagship 77-inch model, then I’ve got good news: it can finally be yours for the low, low price of $19,999.

The W series uses a bit of trickery for pulling off its 0.2-inch thick design: the guts of the TV, including HDMI inputs and general hardware, are stowed away inside an attached Dolby Atmos soundbar below the TV. For what it’s worth (design aside), you’re still getting a fantastic TV. The W series supports all four main HDR standards…

Continue reading…

Apple Music’s latest personalized playlist is perfect for chill Sundays

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple Music already has a pair of personalized playlists in My New Music Mix and My Favorites Mix, and now it’s launching a third to help you chill out in these trying times. Its latest personalized playlist, aptly titled My Chill Mix, will give you 25 tracks of chill vibes based on your listening habits, which is updated every Sunday.

My list had some hits (Beyoncé, Solange, Jhene Aiko) and definitely a few misses (Immature, B2K), but overall it was a good playlist for the first try. We’ll see how Apple Music refines the list week by week — the true test of any personalized playlist.

My Chill Mix is currently only available for a small group of users, but will be rolling out throughout the summer, according to TechCrunch….

Continue reading…

We compared hardware specs for every iPhone ever made

See the original posting on The Verge

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a look back at how the hardware in Apple’s iconic smartphone has changed and evolved over time?

We’ve gone back and tabulated the specs on all 10 generations of iPhones (plus a couple of spinoffs) for your viewing pleasure. Obviously, the modern iPhone 7 and 7 Plus win out across the board when it comes to almost any metric, but this is less of a competition and more a retrospective — one that highlights what’s become one of the key components of Apple’s success.

The fact of the matter is that none of the iPhone models have ever been the best smartphone when it comes to pure hardware. And even looking at raw numbers, it’s oftentimes hard…

Continue reading…

1 2 3 1,086