Sweepstakes: win a Fly Blue Pebble smartwatch!

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What — another sweepstakes? Yes! The Verge is giving away one Fly Blue Pebble smartwatch, courtesy of our friends at Pebble. Here’s how to enter:

Subscribe to The Verge’s daily newsletter by entering your email address in the field below. You must be a new subscriber to win, but don’t worry — we’ll have plenty more giveaways in the near future. The contest runs from now (Thursday at 1PM ET) until tomorrow (Friday) at 12:59 PM ET. After the contest ends, we’ll choose one winner at random. You must be 18 or older and live in the US to be eligible. Full rules here.

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I got sweaty for this fitness gadget and all it did was judge me

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Abe Carter is casually talking to me about his company’s plans to collect and organize my biometric data as I start running out of breath. I’ve only been on the treadmill next to him for a few minutes, but it’s my first time being back in a gym in years, and my lungs are making that abundantly clear. If this were The Walking Dead, I’d be an easy zombie snack.

We slow things down and catch a breath before it’s time to move onto the main event: seeing if the wristband and shoe sensor I’m wearing can figure out the workout I’m about to throw at it. But if I can be honest, I’m wondering the same thing about my body.

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Who owns Heisenberg’s hat?

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Breaking Bad is over. Spinoff Better Call Saul is coming to AMC… eventually. In the interim, The LA Times asked creator Vince Gilligan and stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul (neither of whom, as far as we know, are appearing in Better Call Saul) to talk about the end of the series. Aside from serious discussion of the show’s final episode, that also means revealing the present-day whereabouts of “Heisenberg’s” famous pork pie hat — a version of which is owned by both Cranston and Gilligan. In an interesting offhand comment, Cranston says there’s “some talk” of a Breaking Bad Smithsonian exhibit, where his hat and other pieces of Walter White paraphernalia could one day rest.

Aaron Paul, meanwhile, ended up taking multiple doors off…

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Microsoft’s 1994 website looked like a Geocities page

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Microsoft’s website has been online for 20 years now, and the company is celebrating by recreating its original look and feel. It’s a throwback to the days of dial-up modems when you’d access the internet through a series of terribly high-pitched buzzing sounds using a Windows 3.11 machine and AOL. Thankfully we’ve moved on from those terrible times, but it’s still nice to look back at the days when Internet Explorer didn’t exist, some browsers didn’t used to support images, or you’d have to wait five seconds for images to load. If you’re looking for even more nostalgia, there’s always the untouched Space Jam website to browse through too.

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Larry David wrote and is starring in a Broadway play

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Seinfeld co-creator Larry David is headed to Broadway. The New York Times reports that David has written a play called “Fish in the Dark,” and will make his Broadway debut starring in it next year. The play is a comedy, naturally, about a death in a family, and David, naturally, will be playing a character much like himself — as he’s long done in Curb Your Enthusiasm. David apparently didn’t intend to act in the play but was talked into doing so by producer Scott Rudin. “I thought it would be pretty cool to write a play someday,” David tells the Times. “I didn’t think it’d be pretty cool to be in it.”

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I drove the anti-Tesla for a week

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Weaning America of its gasoline addiction is hard. If it wasn’t, we’d have done it already. It certainly doesn’t help that great electric cars are tough to make, which means the best ones are expensive. What’s more, charging infrastructure is still in its infancy — you can’t drive anywhere you want with complete certainty that you’ll be able to put electrons back in the tank. Even when you can, recharging is a lot slower than pumping a few gallons of fossil fuel and going on your way.

T…

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Scribd is changing how its readers find new books

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Scribd wants to be to bibliophiles what Netflix is to couch potatoes. The ebook subscription service is rolling out a new browsing experience, which uses human curation and an algorithm-driven recommendation engine to facilitate user discovery.

While the platform already allows readers to peruse books based on categories like genre and popularity, Scribd will provide access to a variety of collections unique to the service. These range from personalized selections derived from a customer’s recent history to those hand-picked by the editorial staff and guest authors. In a recent call with The Verge, co-founder Jared Friedman explained Scribd is powered by an extensive tagging system similar to that used by Netflix. The service also…

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Get through to Comcast’s semi-secret customer service line with one of these special cards

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For years, Comcast has been giving its employees special cards to hand out to customers who had “a negative or unpleasant experience that is unresolved.”

Once called “Make It Right” cards and recently rebranded as We’re On It” cards, the cards are printed with a unique ID number and a “no wait” hotline that connects to a dedicated team of 250 customer service agents. Employees receive 12 cards a year, which they can hand out at their discretion.

The cards are also printed with a QR code that directs customers to self-service options.

Comcast handles more than a million customer interactions a day, according to the company, which means a lot of angry customers if even a tiny fraction of them go wrong. “Despite our best efforts,…

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Drone crashes and sinks into popular Yellowstone hot spring

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A tourist at Yellowstone National Park accidentally crashed a drone into one of the park’s most popular hot springs on Saturday. Drones are banned at all US national parks, but the blanket rule hasn’t done much to stop visitors who are determined to capture amazing scenic views from the skies. Unfortunately, the Yellowstone incident is a perfect example of what can happen when operators make mistakes, and it won’t do anything to help more considerate enthusiasts plead their case with the National Park Service.

Authorities are now trying to decide whether they’ll need to recover the camera-equipped drone from the Grand Prismatic Spring. At 370 feet in diameter and well over 100 feet deep, it’s the largest hot spring at Yellowstone, and a…

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I made psychedelic sci-fi iPad art with one finger

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I change my wallpapers all the time. On my phone, my iPad, my laptop — it’s a thing I stare at for hours every single day, so I like to switch it up. But finding just the right image can be hard. It needs to be interesting and colorful, but not so much that it makes my screen look cluttered. I cycle between various bits of abstract art and concepts for weird new spaceships, but it usually doesn’t feel quite right.

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Google partners with Barnes & Noble for same-day book delivery

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While Amazon expands the cities where its same-day delivery service operates, Google is adding a new partnership for its own Google Shopping Express program. The New York Times reports that an agreement with Barnes & Noble will let people from Manhattan, West Lost Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.order books through Google and have them delivered later that day from one of the bookseller’s local branches.

Barnes & Noble already offers its own same-day delivery service in Manhattan, which is free for customers who pay $25 a year for its membership program. As with products from Target, Costco, Staples, and other partners, Shopping Express books will be sold through Google’s own site, something Barnes & Noble hopes can help it…

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Microsoft turns its Xbox One into a digital TV tuner with $40 adapter for Europe

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Microsoft is planning to release a digital TV tuner adapter to allow European Xbox One owners to turn their consoles into a TV set-top box. Launching in October in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the UK, the 29.99 EUR ($40) accessory will plug into a USB port to pick up channels using free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2, and DVB-C television standards. This will enable the TV functionality on Xbox One alongside TV listings from OneGuide and a pause live TV option without the need for a separate set-top box and IR blasting through Kinect.

Although pausing live TV will undoubtedly use part of the 500GB of hard drive storage on the Xbox One temporarily, Microsoft has not committed to providing DVR functionality with its digital TV tuner to…

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The NFL Now app is a treasure trove of video for football fans

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A few weeks before the 2014 season starts, the NFL has launched a new video network called NFL Now. First announced in January, it’s made to bring the huge troves of football video into one place: highlights, interviews, Hard Knocks, and the decades of NFL Films content. It’s like the NFL Network, only available everywhere, to everyone, for free.

When you first open the app on Android, iOS, Windows, Firefox, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, or basically anywhere else you can think of, you sign in with a username and password. Then you pick your favorite team(s) and your favorite players. From there, you’re dropped into an unending stream of personalized video. Much of it is free, or for $1.99 a month you get access to NFL Now Plus, which offers…

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Kanye West is worried a drone will electrocute his daughter

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Kanye West has long bemoaned his treatment by paparazzi, and he’s apparently concerned about what they’ll do once they get their hands on some drones. West expressed his fears during a deposition for a lawsuit that he’s in following a scuffle with a photographer last year, complaining that paparazzi are now able to stalk his family from the air, according to TMZ. “Is your daughter stalked by like drones? Are there drones flying where she’s trying to learn how to swim at age 1?,” West asked. “Wouldn’t you like to just teach your daughter how to swim without a drone flying? What happens if a drone falls right next to her? Would it electrocute her?”

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Can we stop using speech bubbles for messaging?

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This is my iPhone’s homescreen right now. Notice something weird? There are no fewer than nine instant messaging apps, and seven of those use a speech bubble as their logo. We’ve lamented the fragmented state of messaging many times before, but if we’re going to have hundreds of apps for the same thing, can’t we at least have more diverse icons?

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Windows 9 will kill Microsoft’s awkward Charms menu, introduce virtual desktops

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Microsoft is stepping even further back from its Windows 8 vision in the next major version of Windows. Alongside a new Start Menu and windowed “Metro-style” apps, Microsoft is planning to remove its Charms bar, an overlay used to access search, share, the Start Screen, devices, and settings. While the Charms were useful for touch machines, their implementation with mouse and keyboard has always been awkward, requiring users to mouse over the corners of a screen to delicately initiate them.

The change was first reported by Windows enthusiast site Winbeta, and The Verge can confirm current builds of Windows Threshold, which is expected to be named Windows 9, do not include the Charms bar. ZDNet reports that “Metro-style” Windows 8 apps…

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Edward Snowden granted three-year Russian residence permit

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Edward Snowden is staying in Russia for the foreseeable future. Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed today that Russia has granted the NSA whistleblower a three-year residence permit, according to Russia Today. He was given temporary asylum last August, and applied for an extension last month. Under the terms of the permit, Snowden will be able to travel freely throughout the country, and can travel abroad for up to three months. Staying abroad longer would result in the residence permit being revoked. According to Kuchereena, Snowden did not request political asylum, and will not be able to apply for Russian citizenship until he has lived in the country for five years. He added that Snowden will hold a press conference to…

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Apple Specialist Sam Sung is selling his last business card for charity

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A real Apple business card inscribed with the words ‘Sam Sung Specialist’ can now be yours as a memento of what will be remembered as the most perfect combination of a person’s name and place of work. Sam Sung, who used to serve customers at Apple’s Pacific Centre store in Vancouver, has now moved on to a new job, but recently dug up his one last business card and has now decided to sell it on eBay and contribute all the proceeds to a local charity.

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Microsoft reportedly eyeing New York store close to Apple’s iconic cube

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Microsoft now has more than 50 retail stores in the US, but still no presence in the upscale shopping district of New York City. That might be about to change. New York Daily News reports that the software giant is in talks to open a retail store on Fifth Avenue, one of the most expensive streets for shopping in the world. The location would place Microsoft’s potential store just a few blocks away from Apple’s iconic cube that overlooks Central Park.

That’s not unusual for Microsoft, the company has a habit of placing its stores very close to existing Apple ones in an effort to compete head-to-head on occasions. If the report is accurate then it would mark a fresh approach to New York City for Microsoft. The software maker has used…

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Microsoft, like Google, tips off police for child porn arrest

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Google isn’t alone in its email scanning for child porn. Software giant Microsoft recently tipped off police to a man in Pennsylvania who has now been arrested and charged with receiving and sharing child porn through his OneDrive account. The arrest comes just days after news of Google’s own tip off to police, resulting in a 41-year-old restaurant worker being placed in custody for possessing child pornography.

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