Thanks, I hate it

See the original posting on The Verge

Welcome to Fav’d For Later, a Friday roundup of our favorite memes, trends, and all-around good internet content. This week, we will definitely not talk about dicks and other things we cannot unsee.

The internet was abuzz this week with Dong Talk™. If you missed the flurry around Donald Trump and Toad — yes, that one — then consider yourself lucky. (Everyone else, please know I, too, am on the market for brain bleach. I will report back ASAP.)

Not to be outdone by the rest of 2018’s baffling news cycle, DC jumped in with an unsolicited picture of Batman’s dick. The full-frontal comes to us courtesy of Batman: Damned #1, the first in a new limited series about the coc — *chokes* CAPED crusader.

No, I will not help you find pictures of…

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The Verge Guide to the iPhone

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The Verge Guide to the iPhone is a comprehensive page that will help you decide which iPhone to buy, learn how to use its best features, and educate you about iOS — arguably, the world’s best mobile operating system.

Our guide is organized by sections, including iPhone model recommendations, plenty of iOS how-tos, accessories for your Apple device you should keep an eye out for, unique things about the iOS platform, and of course, videos by The Verge staff on everything in between.

If you’re looking to buy your first iPhone (or replace your old one) iPhone, we recommend reading the reviews by The Verge staff on today’s flagship models, as well as our how-to for selling your older iPhone.

D…

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Samsung gives Note 9 users an option to reduce accidental Bixby activations

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Samsung’s latest Note 9 update lets you active Bixby with a double tap of its dedicated button, reports Android Authority. Previously, you could only activate the divisive voice assistant with a single tap, which could lead to it being accidentally activated, especially when Samsung offers no option to disable it entirely.

Since its arrival, the Bixby button has become a controversial inclusion on Samsung’s handsets, mainly because it pales in comparison to Google Assistant, Alexa, and, yes, even Siri. Although you could initially remap the button on the S8 to open the camera or another app of your choice, Samsung has since done its best to block the process; on the Note 9, you can’t disable the assistant at all.

In an ideal world,…

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It’s Amazon’s home, and we’re just living in it

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Yesterday’s “surprise” Amazon event was a stunning display of bravado from the so-called everything store. It gave us the clearest view yet of what Amazon’s home operating system will look like. The interface is your voice, and the hardware is everything you see around you. The peripherals are standard household items that are embedded with invisible microphones and integrated together through software and a vast array of interconnecting services.

Google and Apple have their own stories to tell, with smartphones and speakers playing central roles. But neither company has put the pieces together as cohesively as Amazon, whose story is told through a spate of Alexa products of good-enough quality that can be easily delivered to your…

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Razer’s Ifrit headset is more concerned with streaming than gaming

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Razer’s Ifrit is a new headset from the gaming brand that ditches the standard over-ear headphones for a pair of earbuds, which it combines with an arm-mounted microphone. The result is a more lightweight device that shouldn’t obscure your face as you stream – even if the condenser mic is still pretty chunky.

The Ifrit is natively compatible with the Xbox One and PC via its 3.5mm jack. If you want to use the headset with a PS4, you’ll need to use the included Razer USB Audio Enhancer to connect it to a spare USB port. This USB converter can also be used with the PC, where it can be used to plug two headsets into one machine. Given Razer’s pitch about the Ifrit being ideal for mobile broadcasting, it’s a shame to not see a USB Type-C…

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Skype calling is coming to Amazon’s Alexa devices

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Microsoft and Amazon are continuing their close partnership by bringing Skype calling to Alexa. Devices like Amazon’s Echo range will be able to access Skype’s basic calling, and Alexa-powered hardware like the Echo Show will also include video calling support. You’ll also be able to use Skype to call mobile and landlines using SkypeOut, and simply say “Alexa, call Bob on Skype” to activate a call.

Skype calling on Alexa will be available “later this year,” says Microsoft, and it follows a preview of Alexa and Cortana integration that’s available across Echo devices, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft and Amazon first partnered together for Alexa and Cortana last year, and it’s clear from this Skype calling effort that both…

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Now you can listen to Audible on your Apple Watch

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The latest Audible update brings the app to your Apple Watch, so you can listen to your audiobooks and podcasts without an iPhone. The new feature takes advantage of watchOS 5, which just rolled out this week to allow third-party apps like Audible to play background audio from the watch. Just make sure you sync the book from your iPhone or iPad before heading out, as the Apple Watch doesn’t support streaming from third-party apps yet.

The Audible app description mentions you can sync audiobooks to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth, but if you’re transferring over a big novel, it’ll probably take a while. But once you do, you’re free to listen to your audiobook or podcast at the gym, or anywhere you take your Apple Watch. The Audible app…

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Amazon’s Echo event seems to have lost an iPhone X notch

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Amazon hit the tech world with a veritable firehose of new products at its Echo hardware event today, but one device seemingly slipped in under the radar — a new version of Apple’s iPhone X that seems to have ditched the notch for a completely bezel-less display.

Now, obviously this isn’t really a new iPhone — Amazon has just Photoshopped out the notch here, either to better show off the video capabilities of its Fire TV Recast service, or to make it a little less obvious that the device in question is actually an iPhone X. After all, why give a competitor free advertising when you don’t have to?

Still, it does speak…

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CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery mini-episodes begin streaming next month

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Announced at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer, CBS has revealed that its series of short, standalone episodes — Star Trek: Short Treks — would begin rolling out next month, and revealed more details about what each one would be about.

CBS describes them as short stories, “that delve deeper into the Star Trek: Discovery universe.” The episodes will roll out monthly, on the first Thursday for the next four months, and will each focus on three characters from Star Trek: Discovery.

The first episode (airing October 4th), “Runaway,” will follow Tilly (Mary Wiseman) after she “encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help.” The second episode “Calypso” (airing November 8th), will star a new character, Craft (Aldis Hodge), who wakes…

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Amazon’s new Echo speakers have better sound and better looks

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Amazon just announced a ton of new products, but the ones that will probably be the most popular this holiday season are the new versions of the Echo Show, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus. I just spent some time using all three devices, and I can say that all of them are improvements on their predecessors, with nicer designs, more features, and, most noticeably, better sound.

The new Echo Show has a bigger screen and sleeker design than the model Amazon released a little over a year ago, which means it will look nicer on your kitchen counter, and it will be easier to see from across the room. But the more significant upgrade is in the speakers, which are comprised of two side firing drivers and a passive radiator for bass. It’s much louder and…

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Amazon Fire TV Recast hands-on: a very smart and elegant DVR for cord cutters

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I just got a quick demo of the Amazon Fire TV Recast. It’s a shoebox-sized thing you can put in your home to have a DVR that works with over-the-air channels that it receives via antenna and displays on your Fire TV (or Fire tablet). Like the Slingbox back in the day, the idea behind the Recast is to allow you to watch both live TV and stuff that you’ve recorded from anywhere.

There have been a million different weird takes on how to get TV content to act more like streaming content, so I should probably slow down a bit and explain exactly what the Recast is and how it works.

Fundamentally, you should think of it as a screenless hard drive attached to a TV antenna. (You’re going to need to buy a separate Fire TV to really make it work.)…

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Amazon’s new Alexa-ready products are now available for preorder

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The new Amazon Echo Show

At its 2018 hardware event in Seattle, Amazon announced several new Alexa-powered A/V devices, smart home products, and a few others that fall outside of the company’s usual wheelhouse. It was a mix of brand-new and updated products, and the biggest announcements include the redesigned Echo Dot and Echo Plus, the Echo Sub subwoofer, Amazon’s Echo Auto, and the Fire TV Recast cloud DVR box.

All of the products announced today are up for preorder, and most will be available in October. There’s plenty to dive into regarding the huge list of product debuts, and we’ve got you covered if you’re looking to place a preorder (or 10).

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Michael B. Jordan will star in a new Tom Clancy film series

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The Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan has found a new home on television recently thanks to Amazon Prime and John Krasinski. But according to Variety, Paramount Pictures will be focusing on a different character for a new film series — and Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan is set to star.

Paramount is developing adaptations of the Clancy books Without Remorse and Rainbow Six, both of which focus on the character of John Clark. A former Navy Seal turned CIA operative, Clark was originally introduced in the 1987 novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin. In 1993, Clancy’s Without Remorse delved into the character’s backstory, while Rainbow Six followed his adventures forming a counter-terrorist group known as “Rainbow.” While numerous Clancy novels…

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Google might release a Home Hub to take on the Echo Show

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Ahead of October’s Made by Google event, FCC documents have surfaced that suggest that Google may release a product called the Home Hub, as spotted by 9to5Google. According to the documents, and is listed as an “Interactive Video Streaming Device,” which would be a first for Google’s Home devices.

The device could be Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Show, following the release of third-party alternatives with Google Assistant like the Lenovo Smart Display. The documents detailing the Google Home Hub are dated from late August, but they only became available to view today.

An unverified leak has pointed to the Google Home Hub sporting a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, far-field microphones, an ambient light sensor, and speakers. It adds yet…

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Amazon’s Alexa-enabled microwave hands-on: it cooks but does not speak

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I just heated up a mug of water in a microwave. It got hot. The difference is that I used the new AmazonBasics Microwave, which works with Alexa. That “works with Alexa” phrasing and the fact that this isn’t the “Echo Microwave” should tell you that this thing doesn’t have any microphones or a speaker (beyond one that can beep) on it. Instead, it’s a $59.99 device meant to showcase Amazon’s new system for companies to make their regular gadgets into smart gadgets.

The way the Alexa integration works is pretty clever: when you set it up, it will get paired to your Alexa system as “the microwave,” and then you can command Alexa to, you know, cook stuff. There are very few buttons on the microwave because all the presets for various food…

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Amazon introduces a redesigned Echo Show with a larger 10-inch display

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Amazon has just announced an all-new Echo Show at its Alexa event. The new device features a larger 10-inch display and gets rid of the weird chin from the first-generation device, along with offering a smart home hub inside and a new fabric back cover (bringing the design in line with the other new Echo devices it announced today.)

Also new are revamped speakers, with the updated Show now offering dual, side-firing two-inch neodymium drivers that replace the front-facing ones that were below the screen on the older model.

Amazon is offering some new apps for the Show, too — the company is partnering with Microsoft to bring Skype calling to the Show, and will be adding both its own Silk browser as well as Firefox browsers,…

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Amazon is turning the Echo into a security system

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Amazon is adding a few new features to the Echo that turn it into one of the basic pieces of a smart security system. Since Echo speakers are always listening, they’ll be able to start listening for the sound of broken glass, or for a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm to go off. If it hears those sounds while you’re out of the house, it’ll be able to send a notification to your phone; or, if you have a supported professional monitoring system, send it directly to the service monitoring your home.

The feature set is being called Alexa Guard. It won’t be working at all times — instead, you’ll have to enable it when you leave the house, by telling Alexa that you’re leaving. Once you do, it’ll start monitoring and be ready to send you alerts.

I…

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Disney CEO Bob Iger: expect a ‘slowdown’ for the Star Wars franchise

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Since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, it’s gone all out to revitalize the science fiction franchise. But after Solo’s box office numbers came in well under its astronomical expectations, it seems that Disney is going to ease up a bit on the franchise. Disney CEO Bob Iger told The Hollywood Reporter that they did “too much, too fast,” and fans can expect “some slowdown” for the franchise.

Disney has released four films since 2015 — The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo — that were a mix of saga films that continued the larger Skywalker storyline. After The Force Awakens blew away box office records and Rogue One performed really well, it seemed like Disney had found a way to just print money, and it was content to…

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