Quibi, Zoom, and Peloton all are struggling with video streaming during the pandemic

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Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

Today is Tuesday. Yesterday was Monday. It has gotten confusing. My colleague Chaim Gartenberg made a Twitter account that can help. Otherwise, if you live in Cleveland, just watch your local news.

The biggest news yesterday was Quibi’s launch. We have a full slate of coverage, from the stake setting to the CEO profile to reviews of the app and the shows. Quibi also went down briefly, so you know it was a real launch.

It occurs to me that a lot of tech right now involves startup companies just utterly struggling with issues related to delivering streaming video to your home rather than the encoding and bandwidth issues we used to deal with. We have different answers to all of the following video streaming questions during the pandemic:…

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Lego’s interactive Super Mario sets will be out on August 1st, preorders start today

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The Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set | Photo: Lego / Nintendo

After Lego and Nintendo’s surprise announcement in March that the two companies were working on interactive Super Mario Lego play sets, we’re finally getting details on the actual sets and how the interactive video-game-in-real-life elements will work. Lego and Nintendo also announced the prices and release dates for the sets, which will be out on August 1st.

The cornerstone of the Super Mario Lego sets is the Adventures with Mario Starter Course, which is set to cost $59.99 and include the interactive, Bluetooth-enabled Mario figure. In addition to the smartphone connectivity, the figure also features LCD displays on Mario’s eyes, mouth, and stomach to display reactions and gameplay elements, and a speaker for music and sound effects….

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Bringg nabs $30M to expand its delivery logistics platform used by Walmart and others

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Over the last several years, delivery services have become a key component of how retailers, or anyone selling or distributing products and services, do business. Now, with a global health pandemic in full swing keeping people indoors (and away from physical storefronts), delivery has become an essential must-have if you want your business to stay […]

Hinge will let people tap a button to say they’re ready for a video call date

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A pandemic has taken over the world, but people are still dating. Today, Hinge is launching a new feature, called Date from Home, that the team thinks will make it easier to transition the texting chat into a video call.

From a chat, daters can tap whether they’re ready to have a video call outside of the app, and once both people agree to do so, the app will let them know they’re “ready” for a date. This might facilitate the discussion of moving off the app because there’s a smaller chance of rejection. The app is also getting an update to the We Met feature to ask if people ended up having a phone or video chat and whether this is the type of person who they’d want to chat with again.

Video chat dating has become a popular way of…

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YogaDownload brings your yoga studio to your home instantly

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Yoga studios are closed nationwide. The irony is that between the anxieties of the outside world and those popping up inside your very own home with everyone trapped indoors, there’s probably never been a time where yoga’s calming zen was more vital and needed.

Rather than just throwing in the yoga mat and subjecting family members to very un-zen-like displays, a one-year subscription to YogaDownload can help restore the relaxed, centered you that you need to be to survive all this.

Offering up everything from increased muscle strength and athleticism and improved energy and vitality to a more balanced metabolism and a more ordered, peaceful mind, the healthy benefits of yoga were established literally centuries ago.

With Yogadownload, you can achieve all those benefits right from home with access to over 1,5000 top-rated online yoga and fitness classes to help tone up your body and tune up your mind whenever you need the attention.

Whether you’re a beginner or already an experienced practitioner, you’ll find a course that syncs with your skill level anytime you could use a session. And the sessions really do run the gamut, including courses in nearly 20 different disciplines.

You can choose from the synchronizing breathing and physical demands of Anusara yoga to the strength training of power yoga to the calm of restorative yoga to more specialized training like prenatal or beginner’s yoga. Heck, there’s even kids yoga to help those tiny terrors burn off some of that excess energy with a hearty, kid-centric routine. Read the rest

Google updates Pixel 4 with ‘eyes open’ fix for face unlock

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google released an update for the Pixel 4 today requiring users to have their eyes open when using face unlock to open the phone.

The update introduces a “require eyes to be open” feature, which is enabled by default. It offers an extra security measure, but you have the option to disable it in the Pixel 4’s face unlock settings.

The lack of an open-eye detection feature was one of the biggest criticisms of the Pixel 4 at launch. The feature is supposed to help ensure your phone isn’t unlocked by people trying to open it while you are asleep. Google announced last October that it would roll out a feature to check whether your eyes are open “in the coming months.”

Apple has had a similar feature that requires open eyes in Face ID since…

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100 Thieves makes its entire apparel line available in Animal Crossing

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Photo: 100 Thieves

Apparel drops from 100 Thieves, a lifestyle and esports organization, are notoriously hard to get in on. Whenever the company releases a new hoodie or jersey, it sells out almost immediately. But there’s a new way to get some 100 Thieves gear, and it’s not only easy, but cheap: download it in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Today, the company released virtual versions of every single piece they’ve released to date, spanning three years. As with all user-created items in New Horizons, you can download the designs for free by entering the proper creator code; the codes for all the gear can be found here, organized by the year the items were first released in the real world.

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The best thing I saw on Twitch today was a bike messenger riding around Manhattan

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New York City is empty these days. The streets have quieted; the normal pedestrian bustle is nonexistent, and the noise of traffic has turned mostly into near-constant ambulance sirens. Most of us are hunkered down, hibernating until this season of plague shifts into something new. One person who’s not is Miekii, a New York City bike messenger who’s still out and about delivering food to people across Manhattan for Uber Eats.

I happened across his IRL stream this afternoon. It’s refreshingly different than the other channels in the category because you get to see a portrait of New York as it changes over the course of a day. Miekii goes live every day around 11AM ET, according to the schedule posted on his channel page, and streams his…

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Amazon Web Services and Azure control half the cloud market. This training can help you handle both.

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The workers aren’t inside their physical business space anymore. So why should business technology still be under that roof either?

In fact, more and more businesses have been making this migration for a while now, moving all their digital infrastructure to the world’s two largest cloud services platforms, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure.

In addition to the convenience of moving all that hardware off-site, an overwhelming 87 of companies have seen a major side benefit, reporting their businesses have accelerated after adapting to the cloud services model.

Being the person who knows exactly how a company, its staff, and their entire communication and service infrastructure can work in the cloud is a valuable talent right now — and with The Beginner Cloud Architect Professional Training Bundle ft. Azure and AWS training, you can be well on your way to being one of those valued IT pros.

Across seven courses with more than 30 hours of in-depth instruction, you’ll get a full introduction to how AWS and Azure work and what it takes to migrate, manage, secure and grow a company’s entire digital system in those cloud-based environments.

After getting a feel for the basics with the Getting Started with Cloud Computing course, the remaining six courses focus on the two rival platforms.

With AWS Cloud Essentials, you get the Amazon-approved best practices for using and understanding everything, from AWS terminology and concepts, tips for navigating the AWS Management Console, key security measures, and how to use all of AWS’ primary foundational, database and management services. Read the rest

Read the first 10 chapters of my serialized Comic-con satire novel

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In the early 2010s, I wrote a play called True Believers that was kind of a send-up and a love letter to comic-con culture. The play had a full production in Boston in 2012 (closing on the weekend of San Diego Comic-Con, when they first announced the Guardians of the Galaxy, which totally ruined the meta-level “I Am Groot” gag in the script), as well as staged readings at fringe festivals across the country, from New York to Chicago to Valdez, Alaska.

I later tried to turn that script into a novel. It was an interesting writing experience — trying to adapt your own work across mediums, from one that’s explicitly external to one that’s largely internal is a weird challenge, to say the least — and ultimately, nothing really came of the manuscript.

But now that we’re all quarantine, and now that comic books themselves have also been quarantined for the foreseeable future, I’ve decided to serialize it on Medium, broken down into digestible chunks. The first 10 chapters are out now, and they each take (by Medium’s calculations) about 4-9 minutes to read. I’ll be adding new chapters every day through the end of the month. If you’re looking for some nerdy laughs and nostalgia, it could be a delightful way to pass the time right now.

Here’s a fuller synopsis of the story, in case you’re not convinced:

It’s the weekend of the big annual comic book convention, and Chad Mailer is a young professional comic book writer who hit his career peak five years ago with a series that he never actually finished, and he now wishes to re-ignite his career.

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This is New York City in 1993… in HD

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This footage was captured from a demo tape used by home entertainment dealers showing off the high quality of the new D-Theater (D-VHS) digital video recording. Enabling the recording and display of HD content, D-Theater/D-VHS was the VHS videocassette format’s last gasp. From Youtube Pedant:

In 2002 D-Theater launched in the US – the dealers needed a demo tape of HD footage. JVC reused some HD video that had been shot as a demo for the Japanese HD market back in 1993.
This footage would have most likely been originally used for a HiVision MUSE demo (an HD Broadcast, Tape & Laserdisc format).

You can determine that the year is 1993 by the adverts in Times Square – The Radio 501 CD that’s advertised on a billboard came out in 1993 and Paper Moon is playing at the Marquis Theater.

(Thanks, UPSO!) Read the rest

Excellent way to make a simple bandana DIY mask without cutting or sewing

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While I have nothing against the classic cowboy robber bandana mask, this technique, while it does require two hair rubber bands, is genius.

How to Fold a No-Sew Bandana Face Mask(Make:) Read the rest

Oculus product design manager makes a facemask with LED display

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Chelsea Klukas is a product design manager at Oculus and she made this cool facemask with a color LED display.

Here’s a tutorial!

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