Google takes a tiny step toward fixing AMP’s URL problem

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When you click a link on your phone with a little lightning bolt next to it in Google search, you’re getting something in the AMP format. AMP stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” and you’ve probably noticed that those pages load super quickly and usually look much simpler than regular webpages. You may have also noticed that the URL at the top of your browser started with “www.google.com/somethingorother” instead of with the webpage you thought you were visiting.

Google is trying to fix that today by announcing support for something called “Signed Exchanges.” What it should mean is that when you click on one of those links, your URL will be the original, correct URL for the story. Cloudflare is joining Google in supporting the standard…

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Verizon will now charge more money for in-store activations of new phones

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Verizon is altering its activation fee structure to incentivize customers to buy new phones online, according to CNET. Prior to this week, the standard activation fee, both for an in-store activation and when purchasing a new phone online, was $30. Now, Verizon says you can save $10 by buying a new phone online, paying only $20 to activate it, while doing so via a Verizon brick-and-mortar retail store will now cost you $40. The changes go into effect on Thursday, CNET reports.

Typically, these activation fees tend to increase or decrease depending on a number of conditions, like whether you’re on a prepaid plan or a monthly one, and whether you’re buying a new phone on a new line of service or just upgrading a device on an existing line…

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Microsoft unveils disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for $249

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Microsoft is making its disc-less Xbox One S official today. After weeks of leaks, the software maker is unveiling the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which is priced at $249 and will be available on May 7th. This is a new model that will be sold alongside the original Xbox One S, and the more powerful Xbox One X. The big selling point here is that this All-Digital Edition will not ship with the Blu-ray drive, cutting the price slightly by $50 (recommended retail price).

Microsoft is including a 1TBB HDD on this new digital model alongside digital versions of Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft in the box. The hardware is exactly the same as existing Xbox One S consoles, just without the 4K Blu-ray drive.

“The Xbox One S…

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GameStop will let you trade in a game for full credit if returned within 48 hours

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GameStop is launching a new promotion that will allow customers to return a game for full store credit within 48 hours of purchase. The program, as circulated today by Cheap Ass Gamer and verified by The Verge, is called “Guarantee to Love It,” and will launch next week with the debut of Days Gone.

The promotion window will apply only in the first week of a game’s arrival, and GameStop will specify during various times which titles are eligible. Days Gone officially lands on April 26th, and customers will only be able to claim a full credit refund if they purchase the game between April 25th–28th. If they don’t “love it,” they can trade the open item back to the store for the full price of $59.99. Tax is not refundable, and the deal only…

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A five-minute Avengers: Endgame leak is making Marvel movie fans miserable

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A roughly five-minute apparent leak from Avengers: Endgame has made social media a minefield for spoiler-averse Marvel movie fans, and the directors have posted a plea for people to avoid revealing details about the movie. The leak (which we won’t describe in detail here) was apparently recorded surreptitiously during a screening, then cut together and posted online. It includes a handful of pivotal-seeming scenes from Endgame, although it certainly won’t give you a full picture of the movie — and the quality is so abysmal that you won’t get the glossy Marvel cinematic experience, either.

Endgame’s directors Anthony and Joe Russo have gone to extreme lengths to keep the movie’s secrets under wraps. (Actor Tom Holland, who plays Peter…

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Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot can haul vehicles, too

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Boston Dynamics has shown its SpotMini robot doing a new trick: joining a robot army to pull a large vehicle that’s in neutral gear. Ten of them can work together to get the job done. This is building off of the small, four-legged robot’s repertoire of skills that includes picking up objects, opening doors, climbing stairs, and having eerily lifelike movement.

Today’s big news is that SpotMini is off of the production line, and Boston Dynamics says that it will be available “for a range of applications soon.” Pricing info hasn’t been made public, and it doesn’t seem like it will be a consumer product (which is probably for the good of society).

The SpotMini was first shown off in 2017, and its landing page shows off some specs. It’s an…

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The Night King’s eerie sigils on Game of Thrones could have a basis in math

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Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1, “Winterfell.”

As we near the end of Game of Thrones, there are still a few huge mysteries left unsolved. The audience still knows relatively little about the White Walkers. Their origins were revealed in season 6, but the extent of their powers hasn’t been explained, nor have the mysterious symbols they leave behind in their bloodshed. The season 8 premiere, “Winterfell,” prominently features one of these symbols, made out of human body parts. But it’s only one of many times we’ve seen it, and there are various ways to interpret what it means.

The first time Game of Thrones associates a curious symbol with the Army of the Dead is in season 1, episode 1, “Winter is Coming” when…

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Twitter introduces 40 adorable Avengers emoji, including Korg from Thor: Ragnarok

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Twitter is gearing up for Avengers: Endgame with 40 new emoji that celebrate almost every single Marvel Cinematic Universe hero — even those who were snapped away by Thanos.

Marvel Studios partnered with pop artist Truck Torrence to create the Twitter emoji seen in the photo below. The obvious superheroes are there — Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, and Hawkeye — along with newcomers like the cast of Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Thanos himself. Most importantly, there are two emoji for Korg and Miek, the best characters from Thor: Ragnarok.

Image: Marvel / Twitter

The various Avengers emoji.

One of the only notable missing characters is Vision. The last time we saw Paul Bettany’s…

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Apple’s latest iPad Pros are cheaper than ever at Amazon and Best Buy

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Picking the right iPad isn’t easy. There’s a lot to consider, no matter which iPad you’re thinking about. What screen size are you after? What sorts of accessories do you want to use? And, perhaps most importantly, how much do you want to spend?

If you’re leaning toward the new iPad Pro, the financial challenge is a steeper hill to climb than the other models. But today’s deals may smooth things out a bit for you.

We’re seeing discounts on both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions of the iPad Pro with and without LTE support at Best Buy and Amazon, some of which beat the best prices we’ve seen by a fair amount. (If you’re not seeing the deal on either Amazon or Best Buy, try switching the iPad Pro color from silver to space gray.)

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The wild world of Game Boy accessories

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There has never been a device with the number of accessories that the Game Boy had. As the first mainstream portable game console, the Game Boy had the kind of user base to support a vast hardware ecosystem, and it came into being at just the right time to need those kinds of accessories to offer a complete experience. It was a perfect storm of hardware that resulted in some of the most varied add-ons ever made for a console. Looking back, there have been roughly two categories that Game Boy accessories fit into: the practical and the weird.

The practical side is less interesting in hindsight. After all, things like attachable lights, link cables, rechargeable battery packs, AC adapters, and screen magnifiers all make a certain amount…

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Procreate’s new text and animation tools turn it into a powerhouse illustration app

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Savage has released a major update for the iPad illustration app Procreate today, adding long-awaited features like the ability to add text and create animations. The update will come with standard iOS fonts, plus three additional typefaces. Artists will also be able to add their own custom fonts. New Layer Export options come with an Export to GIF feature, which let artists create looping animations with frame rates from 0.1 to 60 frames per second.

A text tool feature is a major game-changing addition for many artists who rely on Procreate as their main iPad illustration app, especially comic artists. Before, users had to import text created in other apps (such as Pixelmator) as image files, or export their Procreate files and add text…

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Razer’s new Core X Chroma graphics enclosure offers multicolor lighting and Gigabit Ethernet

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Razer is lifting the curtain on the new Core X Chroma, its latest external graphics enclosure (eGPU), which allows you to increase the gaming graphics power of your Windows or macOS laptop by using the included Thunderbolt 3 cable. The Core X Chroma improves on last year’s Core X by offering customizable Chroma backlighting, a more powerful 700-watt power supply, and USB-A and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

On the back, you’ll immediately notice the four USB Type-A ports, which can be used to power and utilize desktop accessories with your laptop or charge your other devices. The Core X’s main Thunderbolt 3 cable also charges USB-C laptops up to 100 watts and is located just beneath the Gigabit Ethernet port, which you can use for faster…

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Sony reveals PlayStation 5 details: 8K graphics, ray tracing, SSDs, and PS4 backwards compatibility

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We’ve known for a while that Sony is working on its next-generation PlayStation console — call it the PlayStation 5 for lack of a better name — but today, we got the first real details on what to expect from the new hardware, thanks to an interview at Wired. Specifically, Sony is promising that the PS5 will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, super fast SSDs, and backwards compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 games.

According to Mark Cerny, who served as the lead system architect for the PS4, the new console isn’t just a spec-boosted upgrade of the PS4, like the PS4 Pro was. There’s entirely new hardware inside the PlayStation 5, including an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line built on the chip company’s latest 7nm Zen 2…

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Apple rumored to add official iPad external display support in macOS 10.15

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Apple might be about to “Sherlock” another app in macOS 10.15. The company is reportedly working on enabling native support to use a connected iPad as an external display for a Mac, in what might render popular third-party options like Luna or Duet Display obsolete, according to 9to5Mac.

The feature — referred to internally as “Sidecar” — is part of a new window management system coming in macOS 10.15. Users will be able to hover over the green maximize button on the macOS window bar and be presented with a variety of options, including the regular full-screen mode, new tiling options, and the ability to send that window straight to an external display without having to click and drag it over.

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Capcom is launching a plug-and-play mini-arcade with Mega Man, Street Fighter, and more

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Nintendo has turned the mini-console into a trend, with the likes of Sony and Sega following suit. Now, game publisher Capcom is getting in on the action as well. Today, the company announced the Capcom Home Arcade, a plug-and-play system designed to play classic arcade games on your TV. It includes 16 built-in games and a fairly authentic-looking arcade control setup. Curiously, the whole device is in the shape of the Capcom logo.

The device connects to your TV via HDMI and is powered by a simple USB setup. Unlike other mini-consoles, it can connect to Wi-Fi: Capcom says the feature will be used primarily for global online leaderboards. Also important is the dual control setup, which should offer an arcade-style, side-by-side…

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Google Pay now automatically imports loyalty cards and tickets from Gmail

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Google Pay can now automatically import loyalty cards, tickets, and offers from your Gmail account. The feature, first spotted by 9to5Google, advertises that by using it “You won’t get more offers, it will just be easier to use them.”

When I tried out the feature for myself, Google Pay was able to pull through a single entry for me — a Member ID for my United Airlines frequent flier account. 9to5Google reports that the service was able to pull through multiple vouchers and reward points when they tried it.

You can enable it yourself in Google Pay’s settings menu under “General,” and then tap the “Gmail imports” toggle.

Screenshot by Jon Porter / The Verge

After turning the setting on, your vouchers…

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Misinformation about the Notre Dame fire spread quickly on social media

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Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019 in Paris, France.

The Notre Dame Cathedral inspires so much awe in visitors that seemingly everyone who steps inside it feels a powerful, and personal, sense of connection to it. I visited it myself for the first time two years ago and, like everyone else I know, was thrilled by its foreboding Gothic architecture. In spite of myself, I snapped a couple dozen pictures. Even knowing that every inch of the building had already been documented by far better photographers than me, I felt overwhelmed by the need to take a piece of Notre Dame home with me.

And so to watch the cathedral burn today — helplessly, on a Periscope stream — was a tragedy. And while nothing will match the horror of seeing the world lose one of its most beautiful structures, the calamity…

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Logitech’s new $250 Harmony Express remote puts Alexa in control

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Logitech just announced a new remote control that shakes up what consumers have come to expect from the company’s Harmony lineup. The $249.99 Harmony Express, which starts shipping today, has a revamped, tiny design that gets rid of the touchscreen and many programmable buttons of other Harmony remotes. Instead, Logitech is betting everything on Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Alexa is built right into the remote itself; yes, there’s a microphone in there, along with a speaker so you can hear Alexa’s responses. If Logitech’s other Harmony remotes are aimed at the home theater enthusiast crowd, the Express is meant for casual consumers who want to walk into their living room, turn on the TV, and get to Netflix or Prime Video with voice…

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