First Apple CarPlay systems arrive courtesy of Pioneer

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Pioneer is now the first aftermarket manufacturer to support Apple CarPlay with the release of new firmware for its NEX in-dash receivers. The 2014 NEX series ranges in price from $700 to $1,400. Pioneer also announced a new $600 AppRadio 4 with big 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and support for both CarPlay and MirrorLink, thus making it compatible with iOS devices and handsets from Nokia, Samsung, and others.

CarPlay was announced in March as the foundation of Apple’s connected car strategy. “CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Apple VP Greg Joswiak at the time. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay…

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Four new Adam Sandler movies are coming exclusively to Netflix

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Netflix is betting big on Billy Madison. The company has announced it’s signed a deal with actor Adam Sandler that’ll see him produce and star in four feature-length films set to premiere exclusively on Netflix. Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Netflix will work together on each project, according to a press release issued this evening. Neither side is discussing numbers, so we don’t yet know how much Netflix has committed to its collaboration with Sandler.

Sandler’s films have grossed over $3 billion globally

Considering Sandler’s recent box office disasters (Blended, anyone?), it may seem odd that Netflix would pursue such a lengthy and all-encompassing deal. But remember that Netflix has access to our collective streaming…

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Ebola isn’t the only public health emergency, British Medical Journal tells WHO

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The British Medical Journal called on the World Health Organization today to declare a public health emergency. Not because of any specific disease, but because climate change will cause an additional 250 000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, by the WHO’s own estimate.

“WHO has shown important leadership on climate change but has stopped short of declaring a global public health emergency,” writes BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee, in an editorial. But the evidence that climate change poses a “threat to human health and survival” is strong, she writes, and it’s time to act.

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We are all Hongkongers

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There were supposed to be fireworks last night.

October 1st is China’s Fourth of July, the day the populous superpower shuts down its factories and turns patriotic. On the mainland, you can’t walk down a street without hearing celebratory booms and seeing sparks. A pyrotechnic spectacle always lights up the waters above Hong Kong, too. Hong Kong is a tiny region that’s overseen by China, even though it has technically been governed by a separate law — “one country, two systems,” as they…

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The stunning sights and sounds of the Sonos art exhibit

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Apart from the obvious tourist attractions, New York City is full of smaller experimental art exhibits, and this week the speaker company Sonos has created one in the form of a short exhibit at the NeueHouse workspace in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. The company worked with musicians like Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Best Coast, and Danny Brown as well as art collectives like The Principals, Big Noble, and Perfect Fools to set up a week-long experience full of interactive installations.

T…

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‘The Twilight Saga’ is back from the dead, thanks to feminism

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Since in this day and age nothing good — or mediocre, even — should have to end, Lionsgate has just announced it’ll be digging up its $3.3 billion Twilight franchise and dragging it through a social media-assisted victory lap. This latest installment will see five female directors taking the reins to produce five short films based on the PG-13 escapades of the famously profitable teenaged vampires. The series, called “The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga” will air exclusively on Facebook sometime next year.

The program has also partnered with the LA chapter of Women in Film, an organization for the promotion of women in media. The participating directors will be chosen and, once anointed, mentored by a group of…

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US orders airlines to replace cockpit computer screens that could break from Wi-Fi

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The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to replace cockpit displays in over 1,300 Boeing aircraft that may go blank when interfered with by Wi-Fi signals. The screens at issue are used to display airspeed, altitude, and other navigation information to pilots, which the administration says could lead to a crash should it happen during takeoff, approach, or landing. The displays are made by Honeywell, and it turns out that they don’t meet the FAA’s required tolerance levels for Wi-Fi.

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Verizon calls off plan to throttle LTE for unlimited data customers

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Verizon Wireless won’t be throttling the LTE speeds of its remaining unlimited data customers after all. In an eleventh hour reversal, the largest US carrier has just announced that it’s “decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans.”

The plan to start slowing down the heaviest users of LTE data on unlimited plans was set to go into effect this month. Verizon stirred a ton of anger and unrest when it announced it would be expanding its network optimization (read: throttling) practices to cover LTE data in July. Apparently all that customer feedback — and harsh criticism from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — proved overwhelming and convinced Verizon to rethink…

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One week later, how much damage did Shellshock cause?

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It’s been one week since researchers discovered a vulnerability in the Bash Unix shell, exposing millions of devices to remote-code attacks by exploiting the same common chunk of code. By now, patches have been issued and most of the major systems have been secured. The bug even got its own Heartbleed-esque moniker: Shellshock. But there’s still a lot that isn’t clear about the bug, and what went on in the brief window in which attackers could exploit the public vulnerability on unpatched systems. Given a dangerously large window of opportunity, how much damage did Shellshock do?

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Volkswagen put a ridiculous motorcycle engine in its most futuristic car

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What happens if you take one of the most futuristic production cars ever made and tweak it just a little bit to turn it into a beast?

Volkswagen knows the answer: it took its ultra-efficient XL1 and swapped out the 47-horsepower diesel engine for the fire-breathing 1,199cc V-twin out of the Ducati 1199 Superleggera superbike. (Volkswagen Group’s Audi acquired Ducati a couple years ago, so this is the best kind of corporate synergy we’re seeing here.) The car, which weighs under 2,000 pounds,…

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The ‘Angry Birds’ movie is going to sound a lot like ‘Saturday Night Live’

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It feels like we’re well past the point of Angry Birds being a driving force in pop culture, but that isn’t stopping the questionable film based on the franchise from going ahead — in fact, it has a pretty impressive cast. The upcoming film will star Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage, with Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Kate McKinnon, and Tony Hale also featuring in the movie. It’s a cast full of actors with plenty of voice-acting experience among them, but there’s also going to be a strong Saturday Night Live vibe here, as well — Sudeikis, Hader, and Rudolph all starred on the show and worked on it together for several years.

Whether or not the collective talent involved will be enough to make this movie work…

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Now Verizon is doubling its shared data plans too

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In a nice little example of what happens when there’s actually some competition in a market, Verizon has become the third carrier to double the data it offers in many of its largest family plans. Verizon is now offering 30GB for $130, 40GB for $150, and 60GB for $225, though you’ll also have to pay a per-line fee. That’s identical to what AT&T is now offering, while Sprint’s offerings are currently twice those for nearly the same prices. The promotion runs through the end of October, like those from Sprint and AT&T.

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Introducing ‘The Big Question,’ a new video series about the future

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This month, The Verge is bringing you a new way to look at the future.

We call it The Big Question, an animated video series devoted to the most important questions of humanity’s future. Think of it as a quick tour of the puzzles and wild ambitions that will shape the next few centuries, whether it’s Martian colonies, lab-grown steaks, brain implants or genetically engineered mammoths. Every Wednesday in October, a new writer will take on a new question, starting next week when we look at how scientists might bring animals back from extinction. Below, you’ll find a quick teaser to give you an idea of what you’re in for.

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Facebook clarifies real name policy amid LGBT protests

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Facebook said today it would build new authentication tools to verify accounts flagged for being fake, following a controversy in which members of the LGBT community began leaving the social network so that they could use pseudonyms. “We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we’re going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were,” said Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer, in a Facebook post.

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Music labels get huge victory in quest to sue Grooveshark out of business

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It appears Grooveshark’s days are just about numbered. The music sharing service has been dealt what could easily amount to a death blow by a US District Court judge, which found that Grooveshark’s own employees personally (and willfully) violated and profited from copyright infringement. It’s been a long saga; Grooveshark has faced lawsuit after lawsuit in recent years. It’s managed to overcome some by striking deals with publishers, but vengeful music labels haven’t given up on sinking the company.

Most recently, Grooveshark had tried to seek protection under the “safe harbour” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It took on a Google-like approach when responding to takedown notices by taking down unauthorized files…

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How the monarch butterfly lost its migration

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Some monarch butterfly populations don’t migrate. They live in tropical areas of the world, and don’t get as much press as the North American populations that show up en masse on weather radars. But for scientists who study monarchs, they’re critical to understanding the bugs. They’re the reason that most researchers think that these insects first evolved in South America as a non-migratory species, and only started migrating a few hundred years ago, once they moved into the US. And, if a study published today in Nature is further supported, they’ll also be the reason that we were just plain wrong.

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A trip down the River Styx makes good virtual reality and better performance art

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The Oculus Rift is a thing. Adding physical effects in virtual reality is a thing. Sending people on dark, otherworldly journeys on boats is a very successful thing. But it’s rare to see a video that pulls these elements together so perfectly and dramatically. Above is The Styx, a VR experience that’s emphatically an art installation, not a game. The Styx was developed by art collective Skullmapping for the Belgian Leuven in Scène festival. If you visited when it was shown off there in July, you found yourself entering an exact, scanned version of the room you were in. On your trip to the underworld, you were misted with water from the River Styx, jostled in the boat, and asked for your coin of passage by Charon, ferryman for the dead.

I…

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This is what a $55,000 Kickstarter potato salad party looks like

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This past weekend saw the culmination of a small internet joke that snowballed into a ridiculous viral sensation. Columbus, Ohio native Zach “Danger” Brown wanted to raise $10 on Kickstarter to make a potato salad. He got $55,000 instead. So he used all the extra cash to throw a party, dubbed Potato Stock.

Taters were mashed, mayonnaise was liberally applied, and hundreds of pounds of delicious spuds were consumed. Some local charities got a big cut of the funding. After the hangover…

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Windows 10 Technical Preview now available to download

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Microsoft only unveiled Windows 10 to the world yesterday, but you can already download a preview version of the new operating system today. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is designed for enthusiasts, developers, and enterprise customers to evaluate the latest changes to Windows. Microsoft has created a special insiders program to deliver regular updates throughout the Windows 10 development cycle, and those who sign up will get the very latest software to test.

It’s an unusual move for Microsoft, but one that it plans to capitalize on by looking closely at feedback from those who opt to install the early version of Windows 10. Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 Technical Preview as an ISO download, meaning you can install it in a…

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Microsoft’s new Sway app is a tool to build elegant websites

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Microsoft is launching Sway today, a new app that’s part of the company’s Office family of products. It will sit alongside the regular Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps as a rich content creation tool. In its most basic form, Sway allows anyone to create a beautiful website from just images and text without any effort, and it’s all what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) — a modern and simple version of FrontPage. Despite that, Microsoft is taking an interesting approach with Sway, using the company’s powerful Azure cloud servers to suggest page layouts and quickly render content on the fly.

Sway will format pictures and text in a way that its algorithm feels is appropriate, even picking colors from photos to apply to the site….

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