Tech News

How technology will change life in the future and more...

Small satellite launcher Virgin Orbit fails to launch rocket to space

Virgin Orbit’s 747 Cosmic Girl and rocket LauncherOne | Image: Virgin Orbit

Update May 25th, 5:20PM ET: Virgin Orbit’s test flight ended in failure shortly after LauncherOne dropped from under the company’s carrier 747 airplane. Virgin Orbit confirmed that the drop was successful and that the rocket’s main engine ignited. But then it quickly suffered some kind of anomaly at the beginning of the flight. The company says no one was hurt during the test and the team will be digging into the data to learn what went wrong.

O...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Uncut Gems, one of Adam Sandler’s best movies, is now streaming on N

Adam Sandler hasn’t acted in many dramas, but those he stars in tend to exceed expectations. Uncut Gems is no different.

Josh and Benny Safdie’s critically acclaimed independent film, which stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, New York City jeweler with a gambling addiction who risks it all on a rare stone, Kevin Garnett, and a 2012 Celtics game, is now streaming on Netflix in the United States. The streamer is a co-producer of the film alongside indie hit maker, A24. Uncut Gems was available to stream on Netflix in international territories prior to today.

Uncut Gems was named one of 2019’s best films by a number of critics, and many considered the lack of recognition by award bodies for Sandler as a major snub. The anxiety-inducing film...

Continue reading…

More Info...

A new Motorola Razr could launch this year with 5G

Photo by Avery White for The Verge

A new version of the Motorola Razr foldable could launch this year, and it might have 5G, a bigger battery, and improved cameras (via 9to5Google). Those could address some of the many criticisms of the original model, which came out in February.

Surprisingly, this apparent new version of the Razr may have been revealed by an executive from Lenovo, which is owned by Motorola, reports Android Authority. Lenovo’s South Africa general manager Thibault Dousson appeared on the Reframed Tech podcast and said a new Razr could be coming around September.

“There’s a new iteration [of the Razr] coming out. From what I understand, there’s one in September, I think, coming out,” he said shortly after the 18-minute mark on the...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Amazon’s Kindle and Echo team now working on the company’s COVID-1

Photo: Amazon

Amazon’s Lab126, the hardware group responsible for developing the company’s Kindle e-reader and its Echo smart speaker, is hiring engineers to work on its COVID-19 testing initiative, according to job listings first reported by GeekWire on Monday. As of right now, Amazon is contracting with existing labs to process nasal swabs and saliva samples to test its workforce for the novel coronavirus. But Amazon’s ultimate goal is to build a robust testing network with a central testing hub, and these new hires are being brought on to help build that.

“Lab126 began in 2004 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., originally creating the best-selling Kindle family of products. Since then, we have produced groundbreaking devices like Fire tablets,...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Go read this incredible history of the SimCity studio’s forgotten bu

A screenshot of Project Challenge, a project management simulator. | Thinking Tools

Popular “simulation games” like SimCity aren’t literally training players to run something like a city. But what would happen if they did? In the 1990s, SimCity studio Maxis tried to find out.

In an exhaustively researched essay at The Obscuritory, librarian and writer Phil Salvador recounts the fascinating history of Maxis Business Simulations — a short-lived studio that designed simulations of oil refineries, power grids, project management tasks, and other systems for businesses and government agencies. As Salvador puts it:

From 1992 to 1994, a division called Maxis Business Simulations was responsible for making serious professional simulations that looked and played like Maxis games. After Maxis cut the division loose, the company...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Zoom has temporarily removed Giphy from its chat feature

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Zoom has temporarily disabled the integration of GIF platform Giphy in its chat feature, the company said in a blog post. “Once additional technical and security measures have been deployed, we will re-enable the feature.” Zoom didn’t offer any specifics beyond that on Giphy’s removal.

The company mentioned the change as part of its latest list of security updates to the platform, which also includes limits on screen sharing, changes to muting and unmuting functions, and restrictions on logging in to meetings from multiple devices (for meetings that require registration).

The move comes a few days after Facebook acquired Giphy for over $300 million, with plans to integrate it into Instagram. How that acquisition will affect Giphy...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Wikimedia is writing new policies to fight Wikipedia harassment

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Wikipedia plans to crack down on harassment and other “toxic” behavior with a new code of conduct. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, which oversees Wikipedia among other projects, voted on Friday to adopt a more formal moderation process. The foundation will draft the details of that process by the end of 2020, and until then, it’s tasked with enforcing stopgap anti-harassment policies.

“Harassment, toxic behavior, and incivility in the Wikimedia movement are contrary to our shared values and detrimental to our vision and mission,” said the board in a statement. “The board does not believe we have made enough progress toward creating welcoming, inclusive, harassment-free spaces in which people can contribute productively and...

Continue reading…

More Info...

3D printers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

Massive PPE shortages pushed DIY volunteers to get creative

Continue reading…

More Info...

How SpaceX and NASA are launching astronauts into space during a pande

NASA’s Final Space Shuttle Flight Lifts Off From Cape Canaveral The last time a rocket launched from US soil, nearly one million people gathered to watch | Photo by Carla Cioffi/NASA via Getty Images

Ahead of this week’s launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, NASA is working to keep the enduring threat of COVID-19 at bay during the historic launch. To protect its astronauts, ground crew, and potential visitors, NASA has adjusted their approach to this highly anticipated event. If successful, the launch will not only break the US’s nine-year drought of crewed launches to the ISS, but it will also make history as the first time a private spacecraft has carried people into orbit.

“We’re taking extra precautions,” said Steve Stich, deputy manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, during a press call this month. On the ground, the agency is introducing temperature checks and physical distancing at Mission Control.

A successful...

Continue reading…

More Info...

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus renders suggest a slightly bigger screen a

Renders of the Note 20 Plus come from leaked CAD drawings. | Credit: @OnLeaks / Pigtou

Last year’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus was truly a thing of beauty, with an amazing screen and superlative industrial design. And, judging by some high-quality (and completely unofficial) renders of the Galaxy Note 20 Plus, it looks like Samsung won’t be changing too much in 2020. The only major difference is a new, bulkier camera module on the rear of the device.

These renders come from noted leaker @OnLeaks in collaboration with phone-case maker Pigtou. As with all renders based on leaked CAD drawings, they should be taken with a pinch of salt, but the design they suggest for the Note 20 Plus seems reasonable enough.

The most obvious feature is the big, nearly edge-to-edge display, with curved bezels, sloping sides, and a small, central...

Continue reading…

More Info...