The American Gods trailer shows the creator of Hannibal going even further with artsy violence

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Starz has released a new trailer for American Gods. The footage is the most extensive and violent look yet at the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic fantasy novel.

Our first look at the show last year introduced Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), who is recruited by Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) to help in a coming war between the gods of the old world and those of the new. This minute-long preview gives a better idea of the stakes: the older gods face an existential crisis, and Shadow will help with the fight.

The trailer suggests the show will commit to some of the book’s more graphic moments. In the montage, people are chopped in half and blood falls from the skies. Given that American Gods comes from Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller, some…

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New Capcom bundle brings back classic Disney games like DuckTales and Rescue Rangers

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Six classic Disney games are being rereleased as a new bundle dubbed The Disney Afternoon Collection. The new collection features titles created by Capcom during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s for platforms like the NES and Sega Genesis, all of which were based on Disney animated series. Games include DuckTales and its sequel, Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, as well as both Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers titles.

Capcom says that the games have been “beautifully restored” with support for 1080p HD visuals, as well as optional filters to make them look a touch more retro. The games have also been updated with some more ways to play, with both a boss rush and time attack mode added for each of the six titles. And since classic games can be fairly…

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You can now use Alexa to control your Roomba

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If the most effort you’ve ever wanted to put into cleaning your home is yelling at your Roomba while watching it from the couch, then you’re in luck.

iRobot announced today that an Amazon Alexa skill will be available for Roomba 900 Series vacuum owners in the US starting sometime in quarter 2. That means yelling “Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning” will be enough to get your vacuum robot going. Customers will be able to use simple voice commands to start, stop, and pause cleaning jobs, all without the minimal amounts of effort previously required to operate their Roombas.

In addition to push notifications on the status of cleaning jobs, the iRobot Home App…

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Sirin Labs ends production of its $16,000 smartphone

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Last May, at a launch event with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in attendance, Sirin Labs launched the Solarin, an ultra-secure Android smartphone that cost the same as a brand-new Kia Forte. Ten months later, the Solarin is dead.

Siring Labs has discontinued its phone, according to Business Insider, and the company has let go 30 of its 90 employees, according to Israeli publication Calcalist. Given the $16,000 price tag, the Solarin was largely doomed from the start — it’s a ridiculous price to pay for any smartphone, and if security is your main concern, the Blackphone 2 costs $799, or less than the tax on the Solarin.

If you’re one of the select few who dropped nearly $20,000 on a Solarin, the company says it will continue to…

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You can now order food from Grubhub with Alexa

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If you’re too lazy to make dinner, you can pull out your phone to order something on Grubhub. Now, if you’re too lazy to do even that, you can just yell at Alexa.

Grubhub is adding an Alexa skill today that’ll let you reorder any of your last three purchases. If you want something new, you’ll have to go back to your phone. But the integration should offer an even quicker way to place an order, which could be great for those moments when even deciding what you want to eat feels like too much work.

The ordering process has two steps. First, you need to open the Grubhub app by saying “Alexa, open Grubhub.” Alexa will then recite your past three orders, and you have to respond with which…

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If you live in Asia, your bedbug traps might be useless

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Here’s news that could strike terror in the hearts of those living in warmer regions: your bedbug traps might be useless because tropical bedbugs have special pads on their legs that help them climb right out.

There are two kinds of bedbugs: the common bedbug, which is the kind that’s usually found in the US and Europe, and the tropical kind in Asia, Australia and… Florida. People often assume that the tropical and the common bedbug are basically the same, and it is almost impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye. But in a study published today in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers took photos of the tropical bedbug and found that it’s built differently in a way that helps it easily climb out of the “pitfall”…

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Joto is a robotic whiteboard that can draw your tweets and Slack messages in real life

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A design studio called Those is making a smart whiteboard that it calls “the first connected display that draws with a pen.” It’s named Joto, and it’s one part internet-enabled whiteboard, one part art display, and one part nostalgic throwback to a physical medium. It’s an eclectic mix of ideas, and it ends up resulting in a lot of wildly different imagined use cases for the device.

The wildest of Joto’s ambitions is as a notification board that integrates with a number of top services. While it’s not totally clear what Joto will be capable of, it’s easy to imagine seeing it draw tweets and Slack notifications as they come in, or display a physical version of your company’s Trello board in real time. The company also shows off using it…

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Logan’s makeup designer on creating the film’s gory violence: ‘The restraints were off’

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Usually when I’m talking to people about superhero movies like Logan and Black Panther, we don’t wind up discussing alien eyeballs and pirate eyeliner. But that’s just natural conversation drift for Oscar-winning makeup designer Joel Harlow. He considers Logan his first superhero movie, but it’s just the latest addition to a resume stacked with genre films, including J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot (which won him a Best Achievement in Makeup Oscar) and all five Pirates of the Caribbean films. “I’ve spent most of my career on pirate ships,” Harlow says, “and it’s been an amazing adventure, every single one of them.”

Harlow was on the Pirates franchise from the start, when Johnny Depp first suggested Captain Jack Sparrow’s distinctive…

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The HTC 11 may be coming March 20th

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HTC could be announcing the HTC 11, a successor to 2016’s flagship HTC 10, as early as next week. The rumor is based on a image posted by HTC’s Taiwan Facebook page teasing an announcement for March 20th, as noted by TechRader.

HTC Taiwan Facebook page

The image was accompanied by the extremely vague hint that “HTC will give you an unexpected surprise,” which could really mean anything — but the logical guess would be that HTC is gearing up to announce its new flagship. The HTC 10 was announced almost a year ago in April 2016, so the timing is about right for the company to unveil its new phone, especially with with recently announced LG G6 and soon to be launched Samsung Galaxy S8 right around the corner. Until we…

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McDonald’s is now testing mobile ordering in the US

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McDonald’s is now letting some mobile app users in Washington and California place their orders before actually getting to a restaurant location. With mobile ordering, customers place their orders ahead of time, go to a McDonald’s, check in, and pay through the app. They can then pick up their food using the physical counter, drive-thru, or curbside pickup. The app relies on geofencing to know where customers are in relation to the storefront to keep food fresh.

For now, only people in Monterey and Salinas, California and Spokane, Washington are able to test the beta feature, but the company says all its 14,000 national restaurants will be equipped to handle mobile preorders later this year. Still, those three cities include 80…

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WhatsApp and Telegram accounts could be hijacked by sending malware-laced images

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Today, researchers at Check Point Security announced a new attack against WhatsApp and Telegram, targeting the way both chat services process images and multimedia files. Check Point was able to craft a malicious image that would appear normal in preview, but direct users to a malware-laden HTML page. Once loaded, the page will retrieve all locally stored data, enabling attackers to effectively hijack the user’s account.

“By simply sending an innocent-looking photo, an attacker could gain control over the account, access message history, all photos that were ever shared, and send messages on behalf of the user,” said Oded Vanunu, head of product vulnerability research at Check Point.

For WhatsApp, a user had to purposefully open the…

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Watch the first teaser for Pixar’s Coco, the studio’s only non-sequel this year

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Pixar is releasing two feature films in 2017, and the one we’re definitely the most excited about is Coco. In the film’s first teaser trailer, we meet Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a 12-year-old aspiring musician who is obsessed with legendary Mexican guitarist Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). But after touching Ernesto’s guitar, he’s taken, somehow, to the Land of the Dead, where his adventure begins.

Coco, helmed by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, is inspired by the Día de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead, and features an all-Latinx cast including Mozart in the Jungle star Gael García Bernal and Weeds’s Renée Victor. After this summer’s Cars 3, it’ll be Pixar’s second release of the year, but seeing as this movie is the only…

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SpaceX wins its second Air Force launch contract, beating out the United Launch Alliance

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SpaceX has beat out the United Launch Alliance to win its second launch contract from the US Air Force. The contract, valued at $96.5 million, entails launching the Air Force’s third GPS III satellite sometime in 2019.

It’s the second time that SpaceX has won a launch contract from the military, but it’s the first time that the company competed with ULA for the gig. SpaceX received certification to launch military satellites in 2015 and then won its first Air Force launch contract in April 2016: a contract valued at $87.2 million to launch the military’s second GPS-III satellite. However, SpaceX essentially won the contract by default, since ULA — the only other launch…

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Bad Karma: GoPro’s first drone does not impress

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Here’s the funny thing about reviewing gadgets. A hundred journalists can spend weeks with a device, say a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 or GoPro’s Karma drone, and not experience anything out of the ordinary. The drone gets flown thousands of times, the phone’s battery is charged and emptied over and over. Nothing crazy happens, and you publish your take. The device is released, and a few weeks later, all hell breaks loose.

That was the way things went with my first attempt at reviewing the GoPro Karma. I had this piece written, the photography all set, and a publish date in mind. And then Karma units started falling out of the sky, and GoPro recalled the product. Now, five months later, I’ve got another review unit. Like the first one, it…

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Microsoft close to finalizing the Windows 10 Creators Update

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Microsoft will distribute the final version of the Windows 10 Creators Update to testers by the end of the month, sources familiar with the company’s plans tell The Verge. The software giant is currently in the final phases of development, but has not publicly revealed a date for when the Creators Update will be made available broadly. Internally, the company is targeting early April for fully compatible devices, with a staggered rollout throughout April.

Windows Central reported earlier this week that Microsoft is planning to distribute release candidates of the final version of the Windows 10 Creators Update to testers next week, with a public release on April 11th. Once a final version is selected, testers will have access to it by…

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This iPhone concept presents a compelling use for a borderless screen

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Before this year is through, we’re likely to see a procession of new smartphones launching with incredibly thin screen bezels, such as LG’s G6 that was just announced at Mobile World Congress last month. Or Samsung’s Galaxy S8. Or, as rumor has it, the special anniversary edition iPhone that we’re all expecting to blow us away. Designing his idea of what that Apple phone will look like is digital artist Gabor Balogh (who previously showed us an attractive vision for what smartwatches should look like):

Gabor’s concept ties the borderless screen in with a new augmented reality (AR) system that would essentially turn the iPhone into a window unto the world around us, with handy information superimposed on top. That’s been…

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Google is improving Chrome battery life by throttling background tabs

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Microsoft kicked off a battery life war with Google’s Chrome browser last year, and Google has been responding ever since. While Chrome 53 initially marked an improvement for battery life, Google is releasing Chrome 57 this week with further power reductions. Google claims background tabs “consume a third of Chrome’s power usage on desktop,” so the company is doing something about them.

In the latest 57 release, Chrome will now throttle background tabs using excessive power. While Chrome has been throttling background tabs for years, the latest update will throttle tabs to limit the average CPU load to 1 percent. Tabs that play audio or use real-time connections won’t be affected by the changes. Google isn’t revealing exactly how much…

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How to protect your Twitter account against app hacks

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Thousands of Twitter users had their accounts hijacked this morning, thanks to a third-party app. Big brands and verified accounts were affected, with tweets featuring the Nazi swastika and pro-Erdo?an propaganda. While Twitter wasn’t breached itself, it’s important to check what apps have access to your account. This hack is the latest reminder to run a Twitter security check-up if you haven’t yet. Here’s how:

  • Sign into Twitter
  • Check the applications page to see what apps have access to your account
  • Revoke as many apps as you can. Try to remove old apps you no longer use, or ones you don’t recognize

Once you’ve disabled apps, it’s also worth enabling two-factor authentication on your account. It’s simple to manage through Twitter’s…

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The Matrix is reportedly getting a reboot

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The Matrix is getting a remake. That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which says that Warner Bros. is in the early stages of developing a rebooted version of the 1999 cyberpunk classic, with Creed star Michael B. Jordan as the potential headliner.

Zak Penn is currently in talks to write a treatment for the reboot, The Hollywood Reporter claims. Penn is best known for his script work on several superhero movies, providing story assistance for other established writers on X-Men: The Last Stand, The Avengers, and Elektra. Jordan, too, has yet to formally commit to the project (which is itself in early stages), but is reportedly in talks for a major role.

Original Matrix producer Joel…

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Show Notes: What the world really needs is NFC payment sunglasses

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Before every episode of The Vergecast I sit down, read through a bunch of news, and take a bunch of notes. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my week, and I started thinking it might be fun to do every day on the site. So, every day this week I’m sitting down and writing some notes on the news as though I’ll be talking about it later. Are you into this? Am I into this? I don’t know. But it’s fun to do! Give me some feedback and we’ll keep mutating this into something good.

Show Notes will be a bit lighter than usual this week, as I’m at SXSW this week with a bunch of Verge reporters and people from across Vox Media. SXSW itself seems a bit slower on tech side than usual, but the culture team keeps finding great stuff. Keep up with…

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