I burned through my inbox with Mailbox for Mac

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

Email, right guys? Some love it. Some hate it. Some are trying to replace it. But the fact is, we all use it. And since early 2013, Mailbox has been the…

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Who said it: tech executive or evil dictator?

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

Some of the most powerful people on the planet also run public companies, but let’s not forget about dictators that have made their mark on history for things that weren’t phones and computers. We’ve pulled together some quotes from both groups, and now it’s your turn to guess whether it’s from a tech exec, or a historic dictator. You might be surprised at how bad you are at this.

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The worst company in America

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Comcast’s corporate headquarters, Comcast Center, is the tallest building in Philadelphia. It’s covered in mirrors, which makes it the perfect metaphor for the company, one former employee says; no matter where you go, the glare is in your eyes.

It seems a lot of people share that sentiment.

Comcast earned Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” title twice, first in 2010 and again this year, 2014. It ranks at the very bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, underperforming…

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Reddit, Twitch, and Imgur have created a research partnership called DERP

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Reddit and Imgur may be home to fairly strange corners of the internet, but they’re still filled with deeply valuable information about the world and how we all use the web. Now those sites, in conjunction with several others, are launching an initiative to help researchers study the data the sites collect to help them learn more about social networks or any other information that might go through them. The sites are having a bit of fun with naming the new initiative, which they’re calling the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, though they’d probably you rather call it by its abbreviation: DERP.

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You can charge a phone battery by playing music at it

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There are any number of research teams trying to build alternative power sources for your cellphone. Do you want to put tiny windmills on it? What about plugging it into a solar-powered charging bench or just holding it up to the sun? Now, at the Queen Mary University of London, a group of scientists has created a prototype panel capable of charging a cellphone off environmental vibrations like music or dinner conversation.

Researchers call the device a “nanogenerator,” and it looks like a flat metal plate with some wires attached. In reality, it’s plastic sprayed with a sheet of tiny zinc oxide rods that generate electricity when squashed or stretched — as they would be in the presence of everyday background noise. The group is…

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Employee metrics show how Comcast pushes customer service reps to make sales

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Many of the more than 150 current and former employees interviewed for The Verge’s Comcast Confessions series cited excessive sales pressure as one of the main reasons the company gets poor customer satisfaction ratings.

Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee’s interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.

Sales pressure is enforced through monetary incentives, disincentives such as being put on a corrective action plan, and pressure from managers who…

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HTC’s new flagship phone is designed to take over Japan

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HTC CEO Peter Chou was in Tokyo today to unveil the company’s latest flagship smartphone for Japan, the new J Butterfly (HTL23) on KDDI. The phone has much in common with the excellent HTC One (M8) released in the rest of the world earlier this year: it features a 5-inch 1080p display, twin front-facing BoomSound speakers, a second camera lens to allow for Lytro-style refocusing after taking the shot (though the main sensor is 13 megapixels rather than the M8’s four-“ultrapixel” unit), and so…

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ReddX is the Xbox One’s new dedicated Reddit app

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Microsoft is launching a dedicated Reddit app on Xbox One. ReddX, which allows Xbox One owners to browse the hyper-popular social network, submit their own links, and up and downvote content from the console, will be available on the system in North America from the 19th of August. Other apps, such as Reeddit, exist to make browsing Reddit easier with a controller, but Xbox’s Larry Hyrb says ReddX is the first app ever built exclusively for a console.

Topics on the site’s front page appear on the left hand side of the ReddX app, while images, YouTube videos, and GIFs will automatically load on the right. Users can zoom in on pictures, skip through videos, and — apparently using some kind of witchcraft — fast-forward, rewind, or pause…

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Google’s new subscription music service will reportedly be called ‘YouTube Music Key’

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Google has been rumored to launch a YouTube-branded subscription music service for months now, and we’re getting a big look at what it might entail when it finally launches. Android Police is reporting that the service will be called YouTube Music Key, which will offer ad-free playback, the ability to save songs and videos for offline listening, and an audio-only interface for when you’re multitasking or want to have music on in the background, all for $9.99 per month.

It sounds like basically every other streaming music service out there, including Google’s already-established Google Play All Access service — but at the same time as YouTube Music Key launches, Google is expected to rebrand its current offering to Google Play Music Key….

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Supreme’s winter lineup brings the heat to the hypebeasts

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

I’ve been collecting Supreme for two years. What first got me is that red box logo — it’s bright, striking, and the typeface is iconic. The clothing is expensive, limited, and designed with patterns and materials you simply can’t get anywhere else. There’s just one store in NYC, LA, and London, and six in Japan. Most of the pieces I attempt to buy online each week sell out before I can finish entering my…

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Who said it: Elon Musk, or a random YouTube commenter?

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

Elon Musk is a billionaire entrepreneur and genius. The people I found by reading the comments under NASA YouTube videos are not. But can you tell the difference?

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Steve Ballmer is very excited to be the new owner of the LA Clippers

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Today is the Clippers Fan Festival in Los Angeles, which means it’s the first chance fans have to welcome former Microsoft CEO and all-around super excitable guy Steve Ballmer as their new owner. Ballmer made, well, quite an entrance.

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” seems just astoundingly appropriate for this occasion.

After high-fiving presumably every single Clippers fan in attendance, and after a couple of jokes from Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Ballmer took the stage at the Staples Center to introduce himself as the new owner. There was yelling. And excitement about the Clippers. And cheers about Larry. And then a lot of yelling. Steve Ballmer is a lot of things, but above all he’s a fan. He’s going to be a fun owner

The whole video is…

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Microsoft’s first Chromebook killer is a $200 HP laptop

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Microsoft announced that it would be working with its partners to release ultra-low-cost Windows laptops just over a month ago, and now thanks to a leak from MobileGeeks, it looks like HP will release one of the first of these ultra-low-cost computers. The HP Stream 14 is a 14-inch, Windows 8.1 computer that is expected to sell for a paltry $199.

The Stream 14 has an AMD processor, 1366 x 768 pixel display, 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, and a slot for an SD card. If you ignore the Windows stickers that are surely going to be located on the palm rests of the Stream 14, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it apart from HP’s Chromebook 14, a popular 14-inch Chromebook released late last year.

In addition, the documents…

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We want you to help us review every ‘Simpsons’ episode ever

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

We love binge-watching TV shows and have been desperately looking for a chance to one-up our 12-hour House of Cards season two marathon. As luck would have it, FXX is planning to show every episode of The Simpsons back-to-back starting this Thursday, August 21st at 10:00AM (here’s a handy schedule). Unfortunately, we can’t watch 552 episodes in one sitting because, as we’ve been told by legal, it’s…

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The sequel to Flappy Bird is called Swing Copters

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It looks like Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has decided to come back after deciding his maddening bird-murder simulation was too addictiveTouch Arcade says his followup to Flappy Bird is called Swing Copters, and it’s due out on Thursday of this week. The game will be free to play with a small ad, or you can pay a dollar to remove the ad if you’re feeling generous.

There is a tiny bit of weirdness here: in May, Nguyen teased another new game with a screenshot that doesn’t have much to do with the video above. Touch Arcade has a solid reputation, though, so we’ll see what’s up when Swing Copters actually hits — and if Nguyen can recapture the surge of popularity that made him pull Flappy Bird in the first place.

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A brief history of Gordon Ramsay’s epicurean empire

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

By Katie Drummond and Michael Zelenko

Simmer down, Gordon.

When The Verge features editor Michael Zelenko logged onto Hulu this weekend over dinner, eager to gorge himself on both an entire rack of ribs and programs hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay — Zelenko’s celebrity chef du jour — he found himself lost in Ramsay’s all-you-can-eat menu of programming. “It’s unbelievable,” says Zelenko, a…

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We broke Twitter with #brands

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Welcome to the first annual Verge Hack Week. We’re totally blowing up our site: we’ve given our reporters and editors the entire week to play with new tools and experiment with new storytelling ideas, while members of our amazing product team have gathered in New York to help build all sorts of interesting new things. Learn more.

Earlier today The Verge wrote about Tumblr’s decision to start scanning all image uploads for brands, a move so momentous I was prompted to upload an easy one to get them started:

This somehow triggered Twitter’s Magic Recs algorithm, which is meant to alert Twitter users of important conversations taking place in the global town square. Immediately, anyone smart enough to follow me and executive…

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US nuclear regulators were cracked twice by foreign hackers

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According to a NextGov exclusive, computers at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission have been breached by foreign hackers at least twice in the last three years. The news comes from an official report from the Inspector General’s Cyber Crime Unit, which led the investigation. In the first breach, the tactic was a simple phishing scheme, sending an email to multiple employees asking them to fill out Google doc with their login information. A dozen employees clicked on the link, although it’s still unclear how many actually filled out the form. Later, an NRC employee’s personal email was hacked and used to send malware-laden PDFs to 16 different employees.

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