‘It was a learning curve for everyone’: Robert Eggers on The Lighthouse’s tech experiments

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Photo: A24

Robert Eggers’ new black-and-white arthouse drama The Lighthouse is the kind of film that’s just about impossible for a studio to market. It’s nominally a horror film, set in the brutal isolation of a remote, storm-wracked coastal lighthouse in the 1890s. But it’s hard to say what kind of horror film — Eggers and his brother and co-writer Max Eggers deliberately keep the details ambiguous. It centers on an older lighthouse keeper (Willem Dafoe) who takes on a young, initially reticent apprentice (Robert Pattinson) who eventually turns belligerent. As tensions rise between them, they deal with events that might be hallucinations, or an assault by the supernatural. It’s the kind of film that deeply frustrates conventional horror fans who…

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Here’s how Google Pixel Buds 2 and its wireless earbud competition actually look in your ear

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Pixel Buds, in my ear

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Google announced a new version of its two-year-old Pixel Buds headphones on Tuesday, alongside the new Pixel 4 phone. The Pixel Buds 2 are smaller and lighter, and they also ditch that fabric-colored cord that connected the original pair. They’re truly wireless earbuds now, and that makes them a better contender against Apple’s AirPods, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, and others.

We won’t know exactly how they sound or how well they’ll work till 2020, since Google won’t be shipping them until then. But what we can talk about right now is their design and fit, which is more important to some consumers than even sound quality, and just how much competition they already have right now.

Photos by The Verge

A lot of wireless…

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Latest macOS Catalina beta hints at new 16-inch MacBook Pro

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Image: MacGeneration

Rumors have been circulating for months that Apple is readying a new, 16-inch MacBook Pro model — some reports claiming as early as this year — and we might have just gotten a first look at it, thanks to a new image hidden in the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.1 beta that was uncovered by MacGeneration.

The file apparently refers to a new MacBook Pro model designated “MacBookPro16,1” (which in and of itself just indicates that it’s a new model — the 16 here is likely just a coincidence based on how Apple does its model numbering), and features a thumbnail image for what definitely looks like a larger MacBook Pro with thinner bezels than the current 15-inch model’s icon.

MacRumors has confirmed that the files — which depict the new model…

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Before HBO’s Watchmen, stream V for Vendetta, the best Alan Moore adaptation

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Photo: Warner Bros.

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services, and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

V for Vendetta, the 2006 movie adaptation of the politically charged graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd. Set in a dystopian future England, the film stars Natalie Portman as idealistic young woman Evey Hammond, who becomes a protégée of “V,” an anarchist revolutionary (Hugo Weaving) in a Guy Fawkes mask. The original…

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Vergecast: Pixel 4 hands-on and Mark Zuckerberg’s speech on free speech

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

There are two big things we need to talk about today: Google’s new gadgets and Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on free speech.

So this week on The Vergecast, hosts Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller go through all the products Google announced at its hardware event on Tuesday, then invite senior reporter Adi Robertson and Silicon Valley editor Casey Newton on to discuss Zuckerberg’s speech at Georgetown University on Thursday.

In the first half of the show, the crew discuss what we saw Google announce this week: the Pixel 4, the Nest Mini, the Nest Wifi, the Pixelbook Go, and the new Pixel Buds. After attending the event and interviewing Google’s hardware leader, Rick Osterloh, earlier this week, today’s episode turns to how the Pixel 4…

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Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure has the perfect party games for when you’re slightly drunk

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure, the spiritual successor to the Wii Fit that launches today for the Switch, is a genuinely fun way to work up a sweat. After playing it regularly for two weeks, my colleague Andrew Webster noted in his review that Ring Fit Adventure is an easy way to fit physical activity into your life. But it’s got another perk, one that Nintendo developers probably didn’t intend for (and don’t condone): the mini-games are perfect party games, best played when everyone’s a little tipsy. In my experience, it might even be more fun to play with a crowd than Super Mario Party.

The issue with Super Mario Party is that it’s not really made for spontaneous play — if you want to play with more than two people, you have to plan…

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The Hydrogen One is now only $645, which is $645 more than you should spend on it

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Nearly a year after launch, RED has dropped the price on its Hydrogen One smartphone to $645 — a price that is still too expensive for what you get, and even at launch, would not have justified all of the phone’s shortcomings. The 50 percent price drop, spotted by Sascha Segan of PCMag, seems to have been implemented on RED’s website sometime in the past week. The phone originally sold for $1,295.

Even with this dramatic price drop, the Hydrogen One remains a terrible deal. A brand new iPhone 11 — a remarkably better phone, with much better cameras and video shooting capabilities (something RED fans might care about) — costs just $54 more. And most year-old phones are even cheaper: the iPhone XR is now down to $599, and Google’s Pixel 3…

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Ikea’s Fyrtur smart blinds start to arrive in the US, but only in retail stores

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Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

Ikea’s new Fyrtur smart blinds are finally making their way to the US after a delay earlier this year, but they only seem to be available in retail locations for now, with online purchases still listed as “not available.”

As Ikea had announced earlier in the year, the US is only getting the Fyrtur blackout blinds, not the lighter Kadrilj model. Ikea is selling eight sizes of the blinds, ranging from 23 inches wide (for $129) to 48 inches (for $179). As my colleague Thomas Ricker notes in his review, the shades can’t be cut: they’re all 76 3?4 inches long, with the maximum length that they unroll to limited by the user as part of the setup process.

While Ikea’s website doesn’t list all the models just yet, Reddit user HomeKit_Hero has h…

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Luna Display turns your Mac into a secondary display for your other Mac

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Luna Display, the solution that lets you use an iPad as a secondary display for your Mac, now works Mac to Mac. Announcing the new functionality in a blog post, Luna Display says that the feature works between any combination of iMacs, Mac minis, and MacBooks running on macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion or later.

In a tweet, Luna Display CEO Matt Ronge said that the functionality was a direct response to being “sherlocked” by Apple’s new Sidecar feature, which builds much of Luna Display’s functionality natively into macOS Catalina. Apple’s first-party solution only lets you use iPad tablets as a secondary display.

The new functionality should help you find a use for any old Mac lying around, which you might have been tempted to sell or recycle….

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OnePlus 8 Pro will swap the pop-up camera for a hole-punch, leak claims

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Image: 91Mobiles / @OnLeaks

A new leak says that OnePlus could replace the pop-up selfie camera used by the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro with a hole-punch notch in the OnePlus 8 Pro. The leak comes courtesy of 91Mobiles, which created the unofficial renders based on information provided by tipster OnLeaks. The images also show a fourth sensor on the back of the next OnePlus flagship — a 3D time-of-flight sensor for depth-sensing.

Alongside the renders, 91Mobiles also notes that the phone will have a 6.65-inch curved 90Hz display, which is ever so slightly smaller than the 6.67-inch display found on the 7T Pro. Aside from the loss of the pop-up selfie camera, the information suggests we won’t see many big changes in the next OnePlus device.

Image: C…

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Does praying burn calories? Here’s the pope’s $110 e-rosary

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The Vatican continues to take great pains to bring Catholic faith into the modern era, and this week it’s transforming the faithful rosary — adapting today’s popular fitness tracker idea into a $110 bracelet that tracks your prayers.

No, we’re not joking: this is a real gadget launched at a Vatican press conference whose specs include:

  • Six-axis inertial sensing
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • Wireless charging
  • a 15mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 10 black agate beads and 11 hematite beads

It’s basically an adapted fitness tracker, and it still doubles as a fitness tracker, too:

“Once the prayer begins, the smart rosary shows the user’s progress throughout the different mysteries and keeps track of each rosary…

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ditches loot boxes for a battle pass

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is just days away from its October 25th release date, and Activision has finally announced how it’ll be running the in-game economy for the upcoming shooter. Specifically, Modern Warfare will be the first Call of Duty game to use a battle pass system, instead of the much maligned random loot boxes, to dispense content and cosmetics to players.

Popularized by Fortnite, the battle pass system allows for players to buy the pass at the beginning of the season, and unlock a variety of items as they progress. Modern Warfare’s system sounds like it’ll be extremely similar to the Fortnite model (which has since been adopted by other major titles, like Destiny 2 and PUBG). Players will be able to buy a pass at the…

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The Switch turns Overwatch into a great second-screen game

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Overwatch has finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch, fulfilling the endless requests from me that Blizzard port its popular team shooter to Nintendo’s portable console.

It’s not the first mainstream shooter to make the jump to the Switch: Bethesda has ported Doom and a few Wolfenstein games, and of course there’s Nintendo’s own Splatoon series and the ubiquitous Fortnite. But as an exclusively online, multiplayer-based competitive team shooter, Overwatch might be the least likely fit for the Switch, at least on paper.

I’ve spent the last day or two playing the Switch port, and at first glance, that impression is correct. As a way to play Overwatch seriously, the Switch port is bad. There’s no other way to put it. If you’re…

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Newegg leaks Nvidia’s brand-new Shield TV streaming… tube

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Nvidia can’t be very happy with its online retail partners today. After Amazon leaked every detail about the upcoming Shield TV Pro, Newegg has now spoiled the reveal of a seemingly more mainstream Shield TV that also supports 4K playback with Dolby Vision. 9to5Google managed to save everything before Newegg wised up and removed the listing. Both streaming devices run Google’s Android TV software.

The first thing you’ll notice about this one is definitely the form factor. Whereas the new flagship Shield TV Pro resembles Nvidia’s old model, this device has a completely fresh cylindrical design. It measures 6.5 inches wide and 1.57 inches tall, according to Newegg. Nvidia has found room for HDMI, microSD, a figure-8 power jack, and even…

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Google’s Pixel 4 face unlock has one major privacy weakness

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Google came up with its own face unlock system for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL using those advanced sensors in the phone’s top bezel. The technology behind it is similar to Apple’s Face ID, and aside from just letting you into your phone, Google believes face unlock is secure enough to serve as an authentication method across Android. (There’s no more fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 4, remember.) And it’s very fast. But BBC News reporter Chris Fox has noticed an alarming privacy concern with Google’s face unlock: it works even if your eyes are fully closed.

A support page about face unlock directly confirms as much. “Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed,” the page reads….

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Razer’s Blade 15 Studio Edition is now available, with a whopping 16GB of graphics memory

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Image: Razer

Razer’s new Blade 15 Studio Edition laptop is now available in the US and Canada. Its design fits right into the company’s lineup of gaming-focused laptops, but this one is built specifically for creative professionals who demand especially high-end specs and who have a lot of money to spend.

The only configuration that’s currently available costs $3,999 and comes in “mercury white,” which looks silver. Its 15.6-inch touchscreen is a 4K OLED with a 1ms response time that covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. For its processor, Razer selected the 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core CPU. Inside, you’ll find Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition graphics card with a whopping 16GB of video RAM.

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Save $24 on the new Nintendo Switch with improved battery life

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Image: Nintendo

Nintendo’s new, slightly improved Switch console has vastly improved battery life over the original model. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to this version, or are purchasing your first Switch, Amazon’s deal might appeal to you.

For a limited time, you can save $24.01 on this Switch console by clipping the coupon on its product page over at Amazon. Right next to the price, click to clip the coupon, then you’ll see the price drop on the checkout page.

The original Switch console that released in 2017 could last between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, depending on the game that you’re playing. This new model almost doubles the base lifespan per charge, up to 4.5 hours. And if you’re playing something that isn’t particularly taxing to the Switch…

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PSA: Today’s the day to cancel Apple Arcade without getting charged

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Apple Arcade

If you signed up for a free trial for Apple Arcade when it launched on September 19th, that trial runs out tomorrow, so you might think about canceling your subscription today if you don’t want to pay for it going forward. If you stick with it, you’ll be charged $4.99 per month.

I suspect a lot of people are going to stay subscribed, because, as it turns out, Apple Arcade is already pretty good. It’s chock-full of great games like Assemble With Care, Card of Darkness, and Grindstone, and more games are being added all the time, like the cool-looking architecture-puzzler Manifold Garden that will be available tomorrow. And you can play all of those Apple Arcade games on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.

If Apple keeps bringing great…

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Nvidia Shield TV Pro leaked on Amazon with Dolby Vision and even faster performance

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The fan-favorite Nvidia Shield TV streaming box is getting a new refresh soon in the form of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, which will bring a faster Tegra X1+ processor and a new remote, according to a now-removed Amazon listing that revealed the new product a few days ahead of an apparent October 28th release date, via 9to5Google.

Visually, the Shield TV Pro is identical to the refreshed Shield TV from 2017: same design, same dimensions, same ports, same optional stand. Even the specs are largely the same; there’s still 16GB of flash storage and 3GB of RAM. But Nvidia is making two big changes here: a new Tegra X1+ processor that replaces the standard X1 chip on the old model, which it promises is “up to 25% faster.”

T…

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Swagtron introduces three new vintage-style electric cruisers

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Swagtron is expanding its lineup of affordable electric bikes with three new models: the EB9, EB10, and EB11. All three bikes are in the classic cruiser style, with upright U-shaped handlebars and frames that feature the sweeping lines of a vintage beach bike. And if they’re anything like the EB12 city bike that was released earlier this year, the new bikes will be fun and affordable entry-level e-bikes for a wide variety of riders.

Cruisers are good for casual city riding, but they look best zooming down a beach boardwalk or sand-covered trail. The upright riding style is sure to appeal to riders who prefer not to be hunched over their handlebars and for whom speed and aerodynamics are just an afterthought. The low-slung top tubes on…

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