Samsung’s smartphone saturation strategy stumbles

See the original posting on The Verge

Famed for its ability to fill every conceivable niche in the smartphone market, Samsung is today showing some signs of competitive pressure. The Korean company has just issued its earnings guidance for the second quarter of 2014, accompanying it with an explanatory note detailing why it’s falling short of the previous year’s record profits.

Continue reading…

Apple celebrates diversity and equality in San Francisco Pride Parade video

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple has released a video showing its employees, including CEO Tim Cook, participating in the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 29th. The company says thousands of employees from around the world marched in the parade “to celebrate Apple’s unwavering commitment to equality and diversity.” According to Reuters, Apple handed out free iTunes gift cards throughout the Pride Parade and set up an LGBT station on iTunes Radio.

Apple is outspoken about its support for equal rights, with Cook penning a Wall Street Journal editorial last year urging Congress to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. The company also publicly opposed an Arizona bill that would have permitted businesses to refuse service on religious grounds, which governor…

Continue reading…

The Oculus Rift is getting its own developer conference

See the original posting on The Verge

Developers have done some stunning work with the Oculus Rift, so after being acquired by Facebook, maybe it was only a matter of time before the VR kit company announced its very own tech conference.

This September, Oculus will launch Oculus Connect, a chance for enthusiasts of the headset to network at a swanky Hollywood meetup. Employees from Oculus will lead workshops, announce updates, and give feedback to developers on their projects. A developer conference is a hallmark of a major business; think of Apple’s WWDC or Google’s I/O, both of which recently unfurled in front of gigantic audiences. Oculus wants to be a part of that, although the company cautions it will focus on developers instead of a wider audience.

The conference…

Continue reading…

The CIA claims it doesn’t know where Tupac is

See the original posting on The Verge

The CIA is really good at Twitter. And on its one-month anniversary with the service, “the Nation’s first line of defense” spent a few minutes answering the most popular questions it’s received during its short and glorious run. Most of the answers are pretty mundane: yes, the CIA is hiring, and it won’t be following Ellen Degeneres any time soon. But there’s one tweet that finally answers the important question, the one we’ve all been asking since 1996.

This newly talkative side of the CIA is great, but all this “revelation” does is raise more questions. Did the CIA once have, and then lose, Tupac? Is Tupac a Shawshank Redemption-style escape artist…

Continue reading…

Bungie’s ‘Destiny’ beta is coming to Xbox on July 23rd

See the original posting on The Verge

PlayStation 4 owners were given the first opportunity to play Bungie’s Destiny last month during an alpha preview that was exclusive to Sony’s console. But Xbox gamers will get their chance soon enough. The online beta for Destiny will arrive on Xbox One and Xbox 360 starting July 23rd and run until 2:59AM ET on July 28th. Activision announced today. The multiplayer beta will offer Xbox players their first peek at Destiny, the sci-fi shooter Bungie has been working on ever since the studio said goodbye to the Halo franchise.

Those in the PlayStation camp are still getting a better deal; on PS3 and PS4, the upcoming beta kicks off July 17th. Bungie and Activision will take everything offline for two days of maintenance starting July…

Continue reading…

Hollywood is helping the military build its Iron Man suit

See the original posting on The Verge

The US military isn’t keeping its interest in building an Iron Man suit a secret, and on Friday, The Wall Street Journal published new details on the work being done to create one. The government’s plans for the suit, known as TALOS, are straight out of science fiction: it wants the suit to have a weapon, provide bullet protection, monitor vitals, and give its wearer superhuman strength and perception. To make that, it’s called on the private sector to help, with big names like Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon reportedly getting involved.

Continue reading…

Isis mobile wallet will rebrand to avoid sharing name with violent militant group

See the original posting on The Verge

Isis is facing an identity crisis. The company behind the mobile wallet app has announced it will rebrand to avoid sharing its name with the brutally violent extremist group ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Its fighters are directly responsible for thousands of gruesome deaths — many of them civilian — across Iraq and Syria in recent months. Through its relentless attacks, the group has seized upon an ineffective Iraqi government and overtaken key cities and huge swaths of land in the region.

“We have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering,” said Isis CEO Michael Abbott. “Changing a brand is never easy, but we know this…

Continue reading…

Thousands of leaked KGB files are now open to the public

See the original posting on The Verge

Over 20 years after being smuggled out of Russia, a trove of KGB documents are being opened up to the public for the first time. The leaked documents include thousands of files and represent what the FBI is said to view as “the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source.” The documents include KGB information on secret Russian weapons caches, Russian spies, and KGB information on the activities of Pope John Paul II. Known as the Mitrokhin Archive, the files are all available as of today at Churchill College’s Archives Centre.

Continue reading…

BBC told to stop wasting time on climate change deniers and skeptics of proven science

See the original posting on The Verge

Two months ago, John Oliver delivered a bruising critique of the way TV networks handle science coverage. And now an independent progress report from within the BBC seems to agree with his message: climate change deniers and other skeptics of established science deserve less time in front of viewers. “Impartiality in science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views,” reads the report from BBC Trust. In recent years, over 200 BBC staff members have attended workshops designed to help them base editorial decisions around the “due weight” of science-related facts and opinions. “The Trust wishes to emphasize the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that…

Continue reading…

Watch the tense new trailer for David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’

See the original posting on The Verge

David Fincher may be the perfect choice for bringing Gillian Flynn’s hit novel Gone Girl to the big screen with all of its tension intact. The film follows Ben Affleck’s character after his wife goes missing, but as the trailer shows, both the viewer and the world grow increasingly suspicious that he may have played a role in her disappearance. Even in the film’s first trailers, Fincher’s penchant for quietly brooding shots is on show, making Gone Girl look like it’s on track to be his next great thriller. It’s scheduled for release on October 3rd.

Continue reading…

A questionable currency exchange may be tearing Dogecoin apart

See the original posting on The Verge

The digital currency Dogecoin and the Reddit community surrounding it are famous for their generosity and lighthearted naturebut The Daily Dot reports that the two may be turning into something quite different. In a long report on the progress of Dogecoin, the Dot notes that trading and value are on the decline. And beyond that, it finds that there appears to be a questionable currency exchange at the center of a growing distrust among the Dogecoin community. Head over to the article for details on how the exchange Moolah has managed to both bring new attention to Dogecoin and contribute to its community’s decline.

Continue reading…

Google Maps tests your geography knowledge with ‘Smarty Pins’ game

See the original posting on The Verge

Google’s engineers want to help you brush up on your geography knowledge. The company has taken its vast Google Maps database and used it to create a new game called Smarty Pins. The concept is extremely simple: Google asks you a random trivia question about a specific city or country, and you’re tasked with dropping a pin on the right spot. Players can pick between six categories that influence the line of questions they’re given. These range from arts and culture to entertainment fodder, and it didn’t take very long before we ran into a stumper.

Each player starts out with 1,000 “miles” which basically serve as your points. Drop the pin down on a right answer quickly and you’ll get bonus miles. But if you’re wrong, Google will look at…

Continue reading…

Washington’s weed shops are open for business

See the original posting on The Verge

The state of Washington this week handed out its first licenses to approved marijuana vendors, nearly two years after voters decriminalized the drug for recreational use. As the Associated Press reports, the state sent emails to the first wave of applicants early Monday morning, telling them they can open for business as early as Tuesday, though the rollout will be limited. A spokesman for Washington’s regulatory agency told the New York Times that only about 20 licenses will be issued during the first phase, including just one store in Seattle, Washington’s largest city.

Continue reading…

TSA blocking uncharged mobile devices from flights at some international airports

See the original posting on The Verge

International travelers will have to make sure they charge all their devices before boarding their flights. In an announcement made Sunday, the TSA now plans on blocking flyers with uncharged phones and electronic devices at certain undisclosed airports in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition to other forms of screening, passengers will need to prove their devices can actually turn on before flying.

According to NBC News, the new security measures are being made in an effort to stop an al Qaeda terror plot aimed at blowing up an airliner. Officials are reportedly concerned that a laptop, smartphone, or tablet might be used as a bomb. Passengers’ shoes will also be scrutinized at checkpoints. It’s assumed that the new…

Continue reading…

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ on schedule after Harrison Ford injury, two cast members added

See the original posting on The Verge

Good news for Star Wars fans: the seventh film in the series is confirmed to be on track despite a leg injury sustained by Harrison Ford on set last month. On the film’s official blog, creators say that production will take a two week hiatus in August while the shooting schedule is adjusted to accommodate Ford’s injury. According to reports, Ford, 71, broke his leg last month on the door of the Millennium Falcon. In the blog post, producers say that “Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon.”

In the meantime, principal photography is underway at Pinewood Studios in London after shooting wrapped up on location in Abu Dhabi this past May. Even with the two-week break, the film is still on track for its…

Continue reading…

Google gently tells users to blame ISPs for poor YouTube performance

See the original posting on The Verge

Google is now gently suggesting who users should blame when YouTube videos fail to stream smoothly. A new pop-up bar that reads “Experiencing interruptions? Find out why” is now showing under some YouTube videos when playback gets choppy. Clicking on the bar takes users to Google’s relatively new Video Quality Report page, which provides information on internet service providers, including details on video streaming performance. The page also offers a comparison between other ISPs in your area, and it ranks providers as either “HD Verified,” “Standard Definition,” or “Lower Definition” based on the average performance they achieve on YouTube. Quartz first reported on the new notice featured underneath YouTube videos.

The move is similar…

Continue reading…

Hospitals hope to predict illness by analyzing your spending habits

See the original posting on The Verge

Advertisers aren’t the only ones interested in your spending habits — hospitals and insurance companies are taking note as well. Carolinas HealthCare, which operates hundreds of healthcare facilities from hospitals to nursing homes and care centers throughout North and South Carolina, is purchasing transaction data and other information on its patients to try and get ahead of any medical problems, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The data, including purchase history and information like car loans, is put through an algorithm that gives a risk score to patients. That score can then be shared with doctors. A representative from Carolinas HealthCare tells the magazine that it plans to start routinely giving those scores to healthcare…

Continue reading…

Super PAC to end all super PACs hits its $5 million funding goal

See the original posting on The Verge

A crowdfunded super PAC designed to end all super PACs has achieved its funding goal. The Mayday PAC raised $5 million from over 50,000 small contributions over the past couple of months. Added to the $5 million matching contribution it’s expecting and the $2 million it pulled in this past May, the political action committee should have the $12 million founder Lawrence Lessig said it’d need to wield influence in five key House races this year.

Lessig, a Harvard professor outspoken against the state of campaign finance in the US, said in a blog post that “this may be this movement’s most incredible moment so far.” He added, “We’ve got lots of ideas about how to make this work. We’ll be testing them and improving them and building lots…

Continue reading…

The Weekender: regarding EDM, exorcisms, and Independence Day

See the original posting on The Verge

Welcome back to The Weekender. Every Saturday morning, The Verge will give you something to do. This is where you’ll get the best of what we’ve written this week, but also a reason to get up and actually do something with your life — even if that something is dreaming of the far off places you might go.

Here’s a collection of some of our favorite pieces that you may have missed, along with a snapshot of the things you should be doing with your days off. Take some time this Fourth of July…

Continue reading…

1 1,804 1,805 1,806 1,807 1,808 1,810