Pixel 2 XL teardown shows how its squeezable sides work

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The Pixel 2 comes out today, and so of course iFixit has torn open the first unit it could find to let us see what’s going on inside. The site published its inside look at the Pixel 2 XL this morning, and while there aren’t a ton of surprises to be found (the camera module is pretty large; Google is hiding a secret chip), cracking open the phone does reveal one thing we didn’t know a ton about: how the Pixel’s Active Edge feature actually works.

Active Edge is Google’s name for the feature that lets you squeeze the Pixel 2’s sides to open up the Google Assistant. It turns out, it works using a pair of “strain gauges” on either side of the phone. The setup looks like this:

Photo: iFixit

What you’re looking at is a…

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George Hotz’s newest product is like a punk rock version of CarPlay

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Almost a year to the day after George Hotz canceled plans for selling a $999 after-market product that would gift certain cars semi-autonomous capabilities, the famed iPhone hacker is back with a similar piece of hardware from his company Comma.ai. But this time around, the open source product — called Eon — costs $699 and is more DIY dashcam than a shortcut to self-driving.

“You need three things on your dashboard: a dashcam, navigation, and music,” reads the order site for Eon. “Eon is all three. Eon is your new dashboard.”

The general idea with Eon, which is built out of “phone parts, a PCB, a case, a cooling solution, and a solid mount,” Hotz says via email, is that you’ll stick…

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Battlefront II’s single-player campaign brings the Star Wars soul back to the series

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When EA bought back the Star Wars Battlefront franchise in 2015, much ado was made about the significant work that went into making the game look and sound like a movie-accurate Star Wars title. But visual trappings aside, the actual rebooted Battlefront was an online-only shooter that lacked a lot of the depth of the earlier titles, and quickly shattered its user base with expensive DLC. It sold more than 14 million copies, but had very little staying power.

Now, with Battlefront II, EA has listened to the feedback and is bringing back a whole bunch of things from the original iterations of the game. The changes the company has made on the multiplayer side — like bringing back the other eras of the franchise, classes, and more…

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Thor: Ragnarok thinks superheroes are ridiculous, and that makes it wonderful

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Over the years, Marvel has earned a reputation for perhaps not being the most director-friendly studio in the industry. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man after eight years on the project, due to differences in vision. Joss Whedon walked away from the Avengers franchise after finding the creative compromises on Age of Ultron too difficult. And Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World for similar reasons — and then went on to direct Wonder Woman. Along the way, filmmakers like Ava DuVernay have been invited to direct Marvel movies, and have declined to jump on board in the first place.

But somewhat quietly, Marvel Studios has been evolving. In recent years, some of the company’s most exciting films have stood out precisely because of their…

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Netflix’s Punisher series will begin streaming November 17th

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Frank Castle is coming to Netflix. The first season of Marvel’s series about the vigilante antihero The Punisher finally has a release date: November 17th. The announcement came along with a new trailer that shows off some of Castle’s origins.

The 13-episode season will begin streaming the same day that another big superhero franchise hits theaters: DC’s Justice League. That doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Netflix greenlit The Punisher after the character (played by Jon Bernthal) was introduced in the second season of Daredevil, and in the first two trailers we’ve seen, the show is promising a bloody, gun-filled affair. The show appears to have a government conspiracy and thriller feel, which should set it apart from the rest of…

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Tragedy Girls is a lazy attempt at horror satire, redeemed only by how weird it is

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This fall, The Verge is making a choice. The choice is fear! We’ve decided to embrace the season by taking in as many new horror movies as possible and reporting back on which ones are worth your time. We’re calling this series Hold My Hand, as we look at films you might want to watch with a supportive viewing partner. Get comfortable, put the kettle on, check the closet for ghosts, then find a hand to squeeze until the bones pop.

Sadie and McKayla do everything together: homework, prom, cheerleading practice, after-school smoothies, dissing ex-boyfriends, murdering some people to get more followers on their joint Twitter account, etc. They tweet together from the handle @tragedygirls, posing as sweet and innocent — but simultaneously…

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Saber is a rugged portable battery that can fully charge a laptop twice

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A relatively new commercial battery company with expats from Tesla, SpaceX, Amazon, and Faraday Future wants to put an end to searching for wall outlets with a new power brick called Saber. Saber is a 2.2-pound portable lithium-ion battery with 86 watt-hours of power (roughly 23,000mAh), meaning it can fully charge a laptop twice, a phone up to 10 times, and can easily handle things like drone or DSLR batteries. It’s available for preorder starting today for $199, and will retail for $299 starting in November.

The Saber battery, which is about the size and shape of a water bottle, has outlets on each end of its rectangular form. On one side there’s a USB Type-C and two regular USB ports (one 2.1A/10.5W, one 1A/5W). On the other is a…

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Microsoft quietly added an anti-cheat game feature to Windows 10

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Microsoft started rolling out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to PCs earlier this week, complete with features like Windows Mixed Reality and people integration for the taskbar. While most of the new additions are obvious, Microsoft quietly added an anti-cheat feature for games.

The software giant first revealed the feature in a Windows 10 Insider build back in July, promising to share more information. VG247 reports that Microsoft is now documenting its new “TruePlay” anti-cheat feature, and it’s designed for game developers to combat activity like aimbots or wallhacks.

It appears to be similar to Valve’s own ant-cheating software (VAC), and the system collects data within games and generates alerts…

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How Pokémon Go helped shape the upcoming Ultra Sun and Moon on Nintendo 3DS

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Pokémon Go ushered in a new era for the long-running franchise. The augmented reality mobile game became one of the most popular video games of all time, with more than 750 million downloads, and its global success helped bring the Pokémon name back into prominence. One of the main beneficiaries of its success was the dual release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, which went on to become some of the fastest-selling titles in Nintendo’s history. Now, the team is back with an enhanced version of those 3DS games — called Ultra Sun and Moon — and the goal is to further build off of the momentum created by Niantic’s mobile game.

“We knew we had a good fanbase, but of course we were surprised by the sheer number of users who came out as big Pokémon…

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Pixel vs. Pixel 2: the five biggest changes

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It’s no secret around these parts that I’ve been deeply enamored with Google’s Pixel. That Android smartphone came almost out of nowhere last year to claim the crown of best mobile camera, and in the process it swept me up as a loyal fan as well. Sure, Google had previously dabbled in the mobile hardware business with its Nexus line, but the first Pixel phones were immediately recognizable as much more serious business. Over the past week I’ve been getting to grips with the Pixel’s successor, the Pixel 2 — both of them in their “regular” 5-inch versions — and trying to decide if enough has changed to merit spending a fresh $650 on the newer model.

At first glance, the two phones appear to be almost identical. The screen size is the same,…

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Pokémon Go’s Halloween update introduces new monsters from Ruby and Sapphire

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Pokémon Go is getting a new batch of monsters to collect, and it starts this Halloween. As part of its in-game event, which kicks off on October 20th, Pokémon Go will introduce a handful of new creatures, including Sableye, Banette, and what developer Niantic describes as “a few other ghost-type pokémon.” But the Halloween event is just the start. The developer says that the wave of additions will continue starting in December, with brand-new creatures pulled from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.

The Halloween event, which ends on November 2nd, will also include a handful of other new, temporary additions. Certain pokémon, particularly ghosts like Gastly, will be more abundant, and you’ll be able to catch a Pikachu wearing a witch’s hat….

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August’s third-generation smart lock is uncomplicated and cheap

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Much like Nest did a few weeks ago with its Thermostat E, August has begun offering a cheaper version of its flagship product with a fresh design. August’s new third-generation Smart Lock has moved away from the circular design that it was known for (which can still be found on the Smart Lock Pro) to a more elongated look with a physical turn key.

The first thing you’ll notice (or won’t) about the new Smart Lock is that it won’t confound your friends or family members who haven’t seen a smart lock before. It looks rather normal, and in the few weeks I’ve been using it, no one has even mentioned it. That’s a drastic shift from the circular design, which was a talking point every time someone laid eyes on it.

But that’s what smart home…

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The Mr. Robot Hack Report: All about the Feds

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Mr. Robot is back, and the C Y B E R is back, too. The show takes a special interest in showing off the details that usually get glossed over, often drawing on real hacks and real cybersecurity problems. So after every episode, I’ll be breaking down who got hacked, how, and with what. It turns out, there’s a lot more to each one than you can see on-screen.

I totally thought defeating Stage Two would be harder than that! It seemed like such a daunting, far-reaching plan. But in just a few weeks and a few minutes of screen time, Elliot basically wrapped it up. The batteries are safe, the documents are distributed, and capitalism is safe from leftist extremism once more. Crying jag aside, Zoloft really does make you more effective at…

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How to play YouTube in the background on Android and iOS

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YouTube is the internet’s replacement for the TV, so it’s only natural that we’d use it as our background noise provider, however Google doesn’t make that easy on mobile devices. Unless you have a YouTube Red subscription, YouTube only plays as a foreground app, meaning you can’t use your phone and listen to music or podcasts on YouTube at the same time. Well, unless you cheat a little.

I stumbled upon a rather amusing new way to get YouTube videos playing in the background while testing the Google Pixel 2. The Android version of the Telegram messaging app can play YouTube video links directly, without needing to send you out to another app. This is all fine and conventional, but the fun starts when you minimize Telegram or even turn the…

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Nintendo Switch update lets you capture video and transfer saves to a new console

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The latest version of the Nintendo Switch firmware (version 4.0.0) is now available to download. It delivers some much-needed features, including the ability to transfer user profiles and saved data to a new console, and capture gameplay video. But, unfortunately, there are limitations to these functions which will leave some fans a little annoyed.

For a start, video capture only works with four games for now: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2. The feature automatically captures 30 seconds of gameplay, storing the video in the system’s album. From there you can trim the clips and share them using Facebook or Twitter. No other share options seem to be available.

Data transfers are a little…

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The new UE Blast may be the first great portable Alexa speaker

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It’s starting to feel like the biggest threat to Google Assistant establishing a presence around the home is simply being crowded out by a swarm of Alexa gadgets. Today, Ultimate Ears — maker of the very popular Boom line of Bluetooth speakers — announced a new series, the UE Blast, with far-field microphones for Amazon’s Alexa built right in. Both the Blast and its larger, louder sibling the Megablast will begin shipping in late October for $229.99 and $299.99 respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the mainstream Boom products, which will remain available for consumers who simply want a take-anywhere Bluetooth speaker.

From the outside, the Blast and Megablast each look basically identical to the Booms before them….

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The Nokia 7 has a ‘bothie’ camera for half the price of the Nokia 8

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The Nokia smartphone line is filling in a missing gap today with the Nokia 7, a mid-range Android phone that’ll sell for around $400. The phone has a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, a Snapdragon 630 processor, a 3,000mAh battery, and support for expanded storage over microSD. It’ll be available in two models, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and another with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

This is the second Nokia phone to include a “bothie” camera, which is really just a mode that lets the phone capture photos from the front and rear camera at the same time, combining them into a single image. It’s mostly a gimmick, but it sounds like it could be fun now and then for Instagram and Snapchat. The phone includes a 16 megapixel…

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PSA: Google is selling Verizon version of the Pixel 2 at pop-up stores

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Google will be selling its brand new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL at pop-up locations in Los Angeles and New York City starting tomorrow. But while you might expect that a Pixel purchased from these temporary Google shops would be the same as buying one from the Google Store, it turns out that’s an incorrect assumption.

A Google spokesperson has confirmed with The Verge that the pop-up stores will in fact be selling the Verizon model of both Pixel 2s. The Verizon Pixel 2 is unlocked and compatible with all major networks, so using it on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or another carrier isn’t a problem. It also receives software updates and new versions of Android at the same time as the Google-sold hardware. I’ve followed up to ask whether buyers…

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Nissan introduces ProPilot Assist first on 2018 Rogue

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Nissan will make its ProPilot Assist technology available on its most popular car in the US. While the 2018 Leaf was announced as the first Nissan to get ProPilot Assist, that model won’t be available in the US until February. Therefore, the 2018 Rogue will be the first to get what is the company’s platform for future self-driving technology.

ProPilot Assist in the Rogue is a Level 1 self-driving system, allowing the vehicle to control speed, distance from other cars, and keeping the car in the intended lane with minimal input from the driver. Cameras detect lane markings at highway speeds and then adaptive cruise control, lane-keep, and blind spot detection systems keep you in that lane until you deliberately change lanes.

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