Venture back into the underworld to curl up in front of Hades’ excellent Yule log

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It’s nearly the holidays, which means that in the long-standing tradition of the internet, it’s also time for novelty, themed Yule log videos. And this year brings an excellent new entry: a roaring fireplace in the House of Hades, from Supergiant Games’ Hades.

The video is in crisp 4K, showing off the lovely art of the game (one of our favorites this year): the fireplace is decked out in gilded skulls and opulent marble, while creeping pomegranates add a dash of color to the proceedings. There are also the essential sounds of any good Yule log: the roar of a fireplace, with the crisp, crackling sound of the logs. (There’s a Hades spin, with murmurs and echoes from deeper within the House whispering just at the edge of hearing.)

The…

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Today I learned that the iOS calculator has a scientific mode

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A screenshot of the iOS default calculator in landscape mode.

Today I learned that the iPhone’s built-in calculator app has a scientific mode — and all you have to do to access it is turn your phone on its side. If you’re the type of person who keeps your phone permanently in portrait lock (like me), this might come as a surprise to you, as it did to many of us here at The Verge.

This unlocks all sorts of functionality, like adding numbers to memory, parentheses, exponents, and all those trig functions from back in high school. The feature isn’t exactly new, or hidden: It was introduced in iOS…

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Daft Punk releases ‘complete edition’ of their stunning Tron: Legacy score

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Fans of Daft Punk’s incredible Tron: Legacy score will receive a pretty good holiday gift this year: an extended version that’s now available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Tron: Legacy The Complete Edition adds nine tracks that weren’t available on the original score, according to Polygon. Here’s the catch: these aren’t new songs. Some are iTunes exclusives; others are tracks that were only available on vinyl. There’s also an Amazon MP3 bonus track and — get this — a Nokia Music Store bonus track. The Complete Edition simply marks the first time it’s all been collected in one place.

Even though the tracks aren’t new, I’m excited about having an extended, complete version of the score available on Spotify. I love Tron: Legacy and adore…

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I have not played Cyberpunk 2077 but it’s my favorite game of the year

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Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077
Image: CD Projekt Red

Like many non-gamers, I have experienced Cyberpunk 2077 mostly through news articles and Twitter posts. And I’ve got to say — this is possibly the best way to experience it.

I mean, look — I’ve heard about this game for years, because a lot of my coworkers and friends are gamers. Everyone got all hype! I had to delay the end-of-year package I was project-managing in order to accommodate it.

But almost immediately after launch, there was drama: Sony pulled the game from its store and started offering refunds! Microsoft is also offering refunds! So are Best Buy and Game Stop! Employees of the game’s maker, CD Projekt Red, are revolting! If your file gets too big, it’ll be corrupted and useless! An epilepsy warning! DMCA strikes!

If there…

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Verge readers can get two years of PlayStation Plus for only $60

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If you own a PS4 or PS5 and need to renew your PlayStation Plus membership soon, Eneba has an incredible deal on its website right now: Verge readers can get two one-year PlayStation Plus subscriptions for only $60 by entering offer code VERGEPLUS at checkout. This is a real bargain — normally, one year of PlayStation Plus retails for $60. So if you are looking to stock up on this subscription for a couple of years or want to keep one and gift the other, take advantage of this deal — it will likely sell out quickly.

PlayStation Plus is a paid online subscription service that comes with a ton of perks for members, including occasional discounts during PlayStation Store sales and free games that switch up usually on a monthly cadence,…

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Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond are finally coming to HBO Max in January

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A number of beloved DC titles are moving from DC Universe to HBO Max on January 1st, including Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond.

Starting in 2021, series and movies like Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, and Batman: Bad Blood will become available to HBO Max subscribers. Other DC titles available on other streamers, including Superman: Doomsday and Superman: Man of Tomorrow, will also be available on HBO Max. The full list can be seen on WarnerMedia’s site.

The move isn’t too surprising considering DC previously announced its DC Universe streaming service will transform into a comics-exclusive platform, to be called DC Universe Infinite, beginning on January 21st. Shows and films still…

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Samsung’s deleting ads that mocked Apple for not including a charger in the box

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Photo: Samsung (via 9to5Google)

Samsung has been caught deleting an ad that makes fun of Apple for not including a charging brick with the iPhone 12 — the same thing it’s rumored to be doing with its Galaxy S21 phones. The Facebook post was made by Samsung Caribbean back in October, and it had a picture of a charging brick with the caption “Included with your Galaxy” (via 9to5Google).

Photo: Samsung (via 9to5Google)

The Facebook post that has now been deleted, adding even more fuel to the rumors that Samsung won’t be including a charger with its upcoming phones.

This isn’t the first time Samsung has deleted ads after adopting the same practice it previously mocked Apple for. Back when the Galaxy Note 10 launched without a headphone jack,…

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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 leak suggests better battery life is on the way

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Photo by Evan Blass / Voice

Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 seems like it will improve on the battery life and price of its predecessor, according to leaked Samsung slides (via 9to5Google). The previous Galaxy Chromebook was an attractively designed 2-in-1 that nonetheless faltered due to its battery life and high $999 price tag. If these slides are to be believed, then next year might hold some Chromebooks to be hopeful about.

The most important change is that battery life. The slides shared by leaker WalkingCat say Samsung is targeting 12-plus hours of battery life on this new model. That’s a lot more than the measly 4 hours and 20 minutes (and the 8 hours Samsung promised) we observed in our review of this year’s model.

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Into the Spider-Verse is leaving Netflix, and it plays into 2020’s biggest streaming problem

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Image: Sony Pictures Animation

Two of the biggest movies people want to talk about this week are Wonder Woman 1984 and Pixar’s Soul, but there’s another film that can’t be missed: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony’s critically acclaimed 2018 animated superhero movie, which saw Miles Morales step into the web slinger’s suit and save the world with the help of a few other Spider-beings, is leaving Netflix on December 25th. That’s two days from now. It’s also unclear where Into the Spider-Verse will end up. Sony doesn’t have a major streaming platform, and none of the other big streamers — HBO Max, Disney Plus, Peacock, Apple TV Plus, or Amazon Prime Video — have announced that it’s arriving.

Streaming shuffles aren’t new. Movies and TV shows leave Netflix (or…

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Telegram gets Discord-like group voice chats

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Telegram is adding a new group voice chats feature that’s similar to an always-on Discord room. Voice chats are now part of existing text chats, and operate as a persistent option to speak live with friends or family. As they’re always available, you can dip in and out of voice chats just like you would in a Discord room or call.

Telegram is supporting “a few thousand participants,” so even bigger groups for things like live events will include voice chats. The feature appears at the top of an existing group chat, if enabled, allowing anyone to join the conversation freely. On the desktop versions of Telegram for Windows and Mac, you can also use a push-to-talk key for voice chats to control your microphone input.

T…

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra S Pen support confirmed by FCC

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Samsung Galaxy S21
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. | Photo: WinFuture

An FCC listing confirms that Samsung’s S Pen stylus can be used with the company’s upcoming flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra phone. The confirmation, first discovered by Android Authority, comes in a test report for model number SMG998B. The discovery lends clarity to recent statements from Samsung mobile president TM Roh, who said that some of the “most well-loved features” of the Galaxy Note will be coming to other Samsung devices in 2021.

The FCC test report explicitly describes an EUT (Equipment Under Test) device that can be used with an S Pen in both hover and click modes. “The EUT can also used with a stylus device (S Pen). The EUT operates with the S Pen in two different inductive coupling modes of S Pen motion detection (Hover and…

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Sony says it’s already seeing some benefits from WarnerMedia’s big HBO Max bet

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Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures saw a “bit of a boom” in interest from Hollywood creatives who want to work with a studio committed to theatrical releases, according to the company’s CEO.

The uptick in interest comes just after WarnerMedia announced its 17 movies planned for 2021 will premiere on HBO Max the same day they hit theaters. For WarnerMedia executives trying to figure out how to bolster subscribers for its new streaming service and release films in an era when the return to theaters is uncertain, the move makes sense. Plus, WarnerMedia executives will tell you they’re still committed to theatrical releases, pointing to Tenet’s release. Others in the industry will point to Tenet as a reason for the HBO Max move.

While Sony could sell a title…

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Steam’s winter sale is live — here are the best games to get

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fall guys

Steam’s annual winter sale is live. If you’ve been meaning to buy some games, either for yourself or as a gift for upcoming holidays, now’s the time to take a look around. There are thousands of games up for sale in the Steam Store (and you can vote for the 2020 Steam Awards while you’re there).

While you’re browsing, the Epic Games store is also in the midst of its holiday sale. In addition to discounts of up to 75 percent, the sale provides endless $10 coupons — that is, you can apply one to a purchase (on “eligible games” priced at $14.99 and up), apply another to your next purchase, and so on. And the store will be giving away games for free until December 31st. As of this writing, the current freebie is Metro: 2033 Redux (usually…

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Google and Nickelback really want you to look at your photographs

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Image: Google

Nickelback has created a parody version of its own song “Photograph” for a new Google Photos ad, and it’s a lot more entertaining than you might suspect. In the ad, Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger mercilessly makes fun of himself, fully leaning into the “Photograph” meme and its usefulness in explaining all sorts of graphs and in illustrating framed copies of other memes, as Kroeger instructs viewers to “look at them” in his unmistakable, raspy voice.

The ad’s lyrics and photos touch on Kroeger’s “noodle hair” and his passion for photographing dessert. That it manages to both be a nice example of Google Photos’ features and a cute use of the old meme makes it worth a watch.

“Photograph” is 15 years old, and the meme connected to it…

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A OnePlus smartwatch is finally coming in 2021

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

OnePlus will finally be making a smartwatch in 2021, CEO Pete Lau has announced on Twitter, marking the first foray into wearable devices for the smartphone company. There’s not many details yet on the upcoming device, including what smartwatch OS it’ll run, a price, or even a firm release date — Lau only notes that it’ll be “released early next year.”

The idea of a OnePlus smartwatch isn’t a new one; the company had reportedly designed a Wear OS (then still called Android Wear) smartwatch a few years ago. OnePlus ultimately nixed that product, though” “We had completed the design but we still decided to scrap it,” Lau said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We have to be focused.”

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The New York Times’ crossword can now haunt your living room in augmented reality

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A solved mini New York Times crossword overlaid on my couch, with a banner that says “Congrats! You solved the puzzle!”
I’ve done it. | New York Times

A miniature New York Times crossword can now float above your couch, courtesy of an augmented reality effect available on the Times’ Instagram page. Pull up the effect on your phone, and a prompt will appear saying, “The crossword has shattered into pieces!” A small crossword sits on whatever surface you’ve picked, while a cloud of letter shards hovers above it. As you move your camera around, the change in perspective will reveal the words that solve the puzzle.

It uses the same principle of perspective, anamorphosis, that some artists play with to make work that creates an optical illusion when viewed from a specific vantage point. It’s a neat concept, but it’s not exactly the same as actually solving a crossword. Fiddling with your…

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GameStop will reportedly accept Cyberpunk 2077 returns, even if you’ve opened the game

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Image: CD Projekt Red

GameStop reportedly sent a memo to employees telling them to accept returns of Cyberpunk 2077, even in the event the physical game box has already been opened, according to Kotaku and Vice reporter Patrick Klepek. GameStop’s return policy typically doesn’t let you return opened games, but GameStop seems to be making an exception for Cyberpunk 2077 after its buggy launch.

You can return PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of game within 30 days of purchase to get a refund, reports Kotaku. GameStop didn’t reply to a request for comment, but employees at GameStops in Chicago and Houston confirmed to The Verge by phone that their stores were accepting returns of the game.

Other retailers have also offered refunds of Cyberpunk 2077. Best Buy a…

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Watch Nicolas Cage shout expletives in History of Swear Words trailer

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Nicolas Cage reading a book about swearing
Image: Netflix

If you’ve ever wondered how profanity actually became profane, Nicolas Cage is here to help you out. The actor is no stranger to swearing, but in Netflix’s upcoming show History of Swear Words he’ll be doing it in a more educational way. Though, if the trailer’s indicative of what the show is going to be like, it’ll still be very entertaining.

It opens with Cage standing up and just screaming “fuck,” likely a reference to him doing pretty much the exact same thing in Deadfall. It only gets better from there, explaining that apparently the word is an acronym (standing for Fornication Under Consent of the King), and delving into how swear words are understood by the people using and hearing them.

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