How to preorder the LG G7 ThinQ

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LG’s latest flagship smartphone is available for preorder in the United States today, May 25th, on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Regional carrier availability at US Cellular starts on June 1st.

Before you take the plunge, be sure to read our review on the LG G7 ThinQ, because you just might learn something new. While you can get started on buying this device today, the price makes it a little hard to recommend right now — however, if you’re really into this phone, then details on where and how to order are below.

Verizon

Verizon’s offer is pretty straightforward, with no additional down payment costs upfront.

Pricing:

LG G7 ThinQ for $750 or $31.25 for 24 months

Preorder here.

Sprint

The Sprint “deal” is the most expensive of the…

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Apple rejects Valve’s Steam Link game streaming app over ‘business conflicts’

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Valve’s game streaming service Steam Link won’t be coming to iOS today, despite a successful Android beta launch earlier this month. According to the official Steam Database Twitter account, Apple rejected the Steam Link app over apparent “business conflicts with app guidelines.” Steam Link was first announced for mobile back in March, and the app functions as a remote desktop so users can access their Steam library of PC games from a mobile device and stream them directly for touchscreen play or for use with a Bluetooth controller.

It’s not exactly clear at the moment what the “business conflict” here is, and whether it has anything to do with Apple’s somewhat contentious 30 percent App Store fee for all purchases, in-app or otherwise….

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The director of Logan is reportedly making a Boba Fett movie

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This weekend Ron Howard’s Solo is hitting theaters, but Disney and Lucasfilm are already lining up one of the next standalone Star Wars film — and per a new report, it will focus on one of the franchise’s most beloved villains. According to The Hollywood Reporter, writer-director James Mangold is working on a movie focused on none other than Boba Fett.

Rumors of a Boba Fett movie have circulated for years, but Mangold would make a particularly strong choice for this kind of project. His varied career has taken him from dramas like Cop Land and Girl, Interrupted to westerns like 3:10 to Yuma, but genre fans will know him best as the writer-director of the Wolverine swan song Logan. That film brought an unexpected emotional depth and…

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The Nvidia Shield gets a new UI with Android Oreo update

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The Nvidia Shield is one of the more popular options for Android TV set-top boxes, and its usefulness continues to escalate as it finally gets an Android 8.0 Oreo update today, via Android Central.

The new software update brings a host of improvements to the Shield, including a new home screen that makes finding your content and most recently used apps easier, along with some more minor tweaks like improved support for game controllers and better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There’s also an updated Amazon Prime Video app, support for ESPN+, and the new voices for Google Assistant announced back at I/O.

Also new is how the Shield will handle apps — treating them as their own TV-esque channels, as seen below, in a sort of mix between how a…

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YouTube brings its messaging feature to the web

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Because we have not yet reached peak messaging on Google products, YouTube is now bringing its previously mobile-only messaging feature to the web. Now, when you’re logged into your Google account and browsing YouTube.com, you can share and talk about videos with your friends right on the site. You can access conversations from the chat bubble icon next to the notifications bell on the upper right corner. Chat histories will pop up on the bottom left of the screen and allow you to continue conversations, just like Hangouts on the web or from your Gmail web inbox.

You can share content into private conversations using the share button under any YouTube video and select a contact (or multiple, if you want to discuss in a…

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Elon Musk thinks you can crowdsource truth, but that’s not how the internet works

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In the beginning, the reason for the internet’s existence was to connect people as vastly and as easily as possible. Its fatal flaw, perhaps, is that nobody thought about the horrible things people might do once those walls were broken down. One of the most disconcerting trends of the modern internet is the specific, reflexive ways that bad actors have learned to manipulate and dismiss inconvenient truths by using the culture, systems, and mechanics of the internet. In the four decades since the internet expanded beyond its military origins, a clear playbook has emerged for denying reality — and it’s one that is insidiously easy to use. That hasn’t been good for discourse or truth. Elon Musk, the tech mogul and Tesla CEO, might be about…

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How to make Twitter enjoyable again: time travel

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If you’ve ever wished for the simpler days of Twitter, before it became the floating dumpster of a social media site we’ve all submitted to like captives with Stockholm Syndrome, you’re not alone. But the good news is that you can go back again, albeit briefly. XOXO Festival co-founder and blogger Andy Baio has pointed out on Twitter that by using a hyper-specific filter, you can see what your Twitter feed would have looked like 10 years ago with the same people you now follow.

For me, 2008 Twitter was a delightful mix of people sharing what they ate for dinner, song lyrics, and, of course, what they were doing at that exact minute. It’s the sort of mundane, weightless joy that today’s timeline — which bounces between horrifying…

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BlackBerry teaser shows the KEY2 Android phone with dual cameras

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The BlackBerry KEY2 is the latest business-oriented Android smartphone from the company, teased in the below video and uploaded to YouTube today. The device appears to have a dual camera with LED flash setup, a physical keyboard, messenger apps support from BlackBerry Hub, Privacy Shade pre-installed, and for some reason, a new app drawer shortcut.

The KEY2 is the successor to the KeyOne, a phone that was brave for BlackBerry but not the best as a daily driver, functioning more as a collection of nostalgia with some productive features.

Image: BlackBerry

It’s tough to say whether the KeyOne was successful for BlackBerry Mobile; the device was part of just 850,000 total BlackBerry units sold last year though senior…

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Domino deserves a spinoff film, and there are amazing comic stories to mine

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The breakout star of Deadpool 2 is unquestionably Domino, a mercenary with a mutant power that ensures the odds always fall in her favor — especially when it means gliding through brutal fight scenes unconcerned and unscathed. Thanks to a charismatic performance from Zazie Beetz and fight choreography that demonstrates just how effortlessly cool this power can look, odds are pretty good that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Domino in the future. Fortunately for filmmakers, there’s plenty of source material to draw from in Marvel comic books.

Her Catholic ninja origin story

Like a lot of comic book characters who debuted in the ‘90s, Domino is a perfect mix of a simple, high concept layered with a ludicrously complicated backstory. It’s so…

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Fortnite made nearly $300 million in the month of April

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Epic Games’ Fortnite generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms, according to digital game sales tracker SuperData Research. That amount is more than double what the game generated in the month of February, when it earned $126 million and surpassed Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in monthly sales for the first time.

The big difference between the games, and what really makes Fortnite shine, is Epic’s free-to-play model, which gets the title into as many players’ hands as possible and recoups the money, and then some, by way of in-game purchases. Epic sells players cosmetic items that do not affect gameplay, including goofy and topical character costumes and in-game dance moves purely for vanity…

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Now is the perfect time to start watching The Expanse

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Earlier this month, the Syfy channel canceled The Expanse, prompting fans to petition streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix to save the show. Amazon is reportedly interested in picking the series up for its fourth season, and after last night’s episode “Delta-V,” we really hope that it will.

Spoilers ahead for the TV and book series.

In the first two and a half seasons of the series, we’re introduced to a solar system in the midst of a cold war between Earth, Mars, and the inhabitants of the Outer Planets. When an ice hauler is destroyed, it begins a domino effect that leads to war. Along the way, we learn that a shady corporation has deployed an alien substance called the protomolecule as a weapon. But as the tensions ratchet…

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Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo explains the Wookiee mask, movement, and mentality

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When 31-year-old Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo first stepped into the role of Star Wars’ towering, hairy Wookiee character Chewbacca for 2015’s The Force Awakens, he repeatedly dodged press questions about which scenes he appeared in. Peter Mayhew, who originated the role in 1977’s A New Hope, was also playing Chewbacca in some scenes, but he was having mobility issues and using a cane. Suotamo was eager to tell the story of how he ended up on Star Wars as his first film acting gig. He was a “borderline jobless” basketball player who was living with his mother until he answered a worldwide casting call for a 7-foot actor with blue eyes. But out of respect for Mayhew, he wanted to keep quiet on when exactly he stepped into the role.

As of…

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Pornhub launches its own VPN

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Pornhub is launching its own VPN service today with free and unlimited bandwidth. The VPN is supposed to help users avoid ISP throttling and geographic limitations. It’s also designed to let users transmit data anonymously without saving or collecting any of that data.

To get started, you download the VPNHUB app on your device and then tap setup. On the iPhone running iOS 11.3.1 that I tested it with, the app prompted me to create a VPN in settings. You might see an error message at first, but despite that, the app’s main page, which shows a swirling lock symbol, will whirl a bit and then activate your VPN. Then, to check if the VPN is working, go to a site like WhatisMyIPAddress.com and check your IP address. If it’s working, it should…

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Westworld’s digital marketing is giving fans sneak peeks at the show’s biggest secrets

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Warning: mild spoilers below for the first five episodes of Westworld season 2, including the promotional teaser for episode 6.

For most of the people watching HBO’s science fiction series Westworld, when Betty Gabriel’s character Maling mentions “the Cradle” in the second season’s third episode, it’s just a throwaway reference. But hardcore fans know better — at least, the ones who have been willing to dive into the in-world websites, chatbots, and email blasts that serve as the show’s viral marketing campaign. They know the Cradle is a simulation technology, and Delos, Inc. uses it to test storylines before they’re deployed in the company’s parks. In-the-know fans are aware of the Cradle’s codename (CR4-DL) and have seen schematics of…

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Battlefield V fans who failed history are mad that the game has women in it

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DICE is returning to World War II with Battlefield V, and it’s doing so with the help of feeemales. Following the game’s reveal trailer and confirmation that it will include women, some fragile fans have confirmed they’ve never read a book by protesting what they see as “historical inaccuracy.” Please, keep your women out of my war games!

Online, this infantile cry has rallied around its own hashtag — #NotMyBattlefield — and it is full of users shrieking about political correctness. “Hey…good job making a shitty unrealistic SJW ‘WWII’ game!” wrote one on Twitter. “Seen the downvotes on your YouTube trailer video? You have til October to fix this shit and give us a realistic gritty WWII experience.” “Very disappointed with the new B…

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Pool on your iPhone is better when it’s more like a video game

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A screenshot of <em>Pocket Run Pool </em>on an iPhone.

For the last few years, Zach Gage has been playing a mobile pool app on his iPhone with some regularity. He’s been a fan of pool since college, but there’s just been one small problem with his mobile fixation: the app is terrible. As a straight recreation of eight ball pool, it didn’t take long before Gage was able to master the physics system, and be able to beat the computer every time he played. Regular searches of the App Store didn’t reveal any better options, so Gage decided to build his own.

Today sees the launch of PocketRun Pool on the iPhone, a game that aims to make a version of pool that’s adapted for the way people play games on their phones. It’s the latest in Gage’s growing line of mobile reimaginings of analog classics;…

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The TicWatch Pro uses a transparent second display to save power

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Aside from seeing the name go from Android Wear to Wear OS, not much has changed about Android-powered smartwatches over the past couple years. But one being announced today is trying to introduce a twist: Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro comes with a second screen that sits on top of the smartwatch’s main display. Both screens aren’t used at once; instead, the main display will switch off to save power, letting the low-power top display remain on and present the time. If you get really low on battery, Mobvoi says you can turn off most of the smart features and coast for days using the second display.

Here’s how it works: The core of the TicWatch Pro is a standard fare Wear OS smartwatch. It’s kind of chunky, and it can make NFC payments, track…

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Airbnb’s new Travel Stories feature lets people show off videos from their trip

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The increasingly popular “stories” format has infiltrated yet another app: Airbnb. The company quietly launched a new feature called Travel Stories that allows guests to create and upload video sequences in order to show off highlights from their trip, as spotted by TechCrunch,

In an FAQ, Airbnb gives several tips on how to make effective video stories, including holding your phone steady (“try not to pan, but pan slowly if you must”); focus on capturing what you find most interesting about where you are; shoot vertically, not horizontally; and aim to have 10 videos that are 10 seconds long.

Image: Airbnb

Once you’ve captured all the videos for your story, you can put it all together with the Travel Stories tool…

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Match any image with an imaginary soundscape using this AI-powered web app

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Sound can be marvelously evocative; whisking us away from offices and homes to sit beside babbling streams in shady forests, or shiver on an exposed mountain side. But a new project by Japanese researchers takes advantage of this imaginative potential and combines it with AI to magical effect. The resulting web app — “Imaginary Soundscape” — uses machine learning to match any picture you upload with a suitable audio pairing.

Upload an Japanese woodcut of fishing boats, for example, and the system offers waves and water sounds; load an abstract painting of nightingales, and you’re given a garden soundscape of wind chimes and birds. Often the results are exactly what you’d expect, but more interesting is when the system picks up on…

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