Tag Archives: TheVerge.com

Bird’s-eye view: using Avegant’s Glyph headset to pilot a drone

    Tweet Share Despite my best efforts over the years I have never managed to master the art of lucid dreaming. My nightly visions come and go as they please. So when a dream arrives and I find myself flying, it’s always an unexpected and terrifying treat. But earlier this week I found myself soaring above the earth, skyscrapers in the distant background, ships gently rocking on the water below. I was wide awake, wearing the Avegant Glyph headset and piloting a DJI Inspire 1 drone. The Glyph began as something in between the Oculus Rift and Google Glass, a slightly less intimidating piece of headgear that would allow for immersive experiences but not completely shut out the world around you. That makes it the perfect equipment for flying from a first-person view (FPV). In FPV you often need to slip back and forth between the onscreen visual and the

Celebrate friendship by watching this new trailer for Broad City’s third season

[embedded content]     Comedy Central released the most substantive look yet at Broad City‘s third season this afternoon, and it’s a reminder that the love story at the show’s core is platonic. Lovers, weed dealers, and would-be presidential guest stars come and go, but nothing can separate Ilana and Abbi. It looks like they’re going to spend this new batch of episodes clubbing, teaching Aquafit classes, trying to kick Grindr addictions, and sprinting around LaGuardia. Blake Griffin, Cynthia Nixon, and Tony Danza are all going to make cameo appearances, and I’m sure there are more in store. Has gallivanting around New York City ever looked more fun? You don’t have to wait much longer to join them: Broad City‘s season premiere lands on Comedy Central a week from today. Source: TheVerge.com

How the team behind Firewatch made a thrilling game about being alone

Tweet Share Sean Vanaman doesn’t feel so well. It’s Monday afternoon, the day before his studio, Campo Santo, is set to release Firewatch, its very first game. Vanaman previously worked at Telltale on adventure games like The Walking Dead, and he says he’s felt this way before every game release he’s really cared about. He calls it “launch sick”: he feels nauseous for several days leading up to the release, and loses feelings in his fingers. But now that he’s working on a smaller, more personal game without the safety net of a big company, things are a bit different. “If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s been harder,” he says. “I feel this way because we’re out there doing this on our own, and there’s no publisher, there’s nothing to insulate us from the risk or the emotional impact.” Firewatch is a narrative-driven adventure game about a man named Henry

Face Swap Live: a 99-cent app that will give your friends and family nightmares

    Tweet Share The middle photo, above, is me disguised as GOP presidential primary nominee Donald Trump. To the left, I have recreated the plot of the John Travolta and Nicholas Cage action film Face/Off, but with Apple CEO Tim Cook. And to the right, oh boy, I don’t even know how to summarize that horror show. This is nightmare fuel refined by face-swapping app, Face Swap Live. Available on the App Store for 99 cents, and coming eventually to Google Play, the app features a number of digital illusions: you may plaster your face onto another person’s head, stitch someone else’s face onto your head, or swap faces with another person in real time. It’s upsetting to watch, and yet, I can’t stop. Face Swap Live made a small splash in late December, perfect time for this Dad-humor-friendly parlor trick. Today, it’s number one on the App Store’s paid

NASA’s crazy 18-propeller wing test looks like a scene out of Mad Max

(NASA)     Tweet Share Meet the Hybrid Electric Integrated Systems Testbed, or HEIST. If it looks like the Doof Warrior from Mad Max: Fury Road should be riding on top, wielding a flamethrower-guitar hybrid while Max and Furiosa haul ass through the wastelands, I can’t disagree with you. In reality, this ridiculous thing is used by NASA to test new electric aircraft technologies, like a weird wing with 18 tiny propellers on it. News of the test rig isn’t new, nor is NASA’s interest in exploring electrification as a viable technology for the future of aviation — the work for this testing has been going on since last May. But this particular photo stood out in a NASA post this week, a reminder that the line separating air and space research from post-apocalyptic warfare in the Australian Outback is a very thin line indeed. After testing of the wing is complete,

HBO Now has ‘about 800,000 paying subscribers’ 10 months after launch

(Chris Welch / The Verge)     Tweet Share HBO was supposed to have a big hit on its hands with HBO Now, its cable-free streaming service that launched last April, and today we’re getting an idea of how it’s doing. During an earnings call this morning, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that HBO Now has “about 800,000” subscribers paying $14.99 per month for access. That sounds pretty good for a service that launched 10 months ago and only expanded to multiple platforms seven months ago. But it falls short of what investors were looking for, with expectations on HBO to have over 1 million — if not closer to 2 million — subscribers by now.     The harsher comparison is when you put HBO Now’s growth beside Netflix’s. While Now was going from zero to 800,000, Netflix was going from 62.7 million to just shy of 77.2 million — an addition

New 1-Terabit internet satellites will deliver high-speed internet to remote areas

(The previous generation ViaSat-2)     Tweet Share US-based satellite company ViaSat is teaming up with Boeing to create and deliver three new satellites that will deliver high-speed internet to remote areas around the world. The partnership was announced yesterday, months before the company is scheduled to launch its previous generation satellite, ViaSat-2, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The new ViaSat-3 satellites will be capable of much more. Each satellite will carry with it a total network capacity of 1 Tbps (yes, Terabit per second), about triple what ViaSat-2 is capable of. That will allow ViaSat to deliver 100 Mbps service to remote residential properties in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company claims that work is already underway on the first two satellites, and that Boeing is already preparing them for launches by the end of 2019.   Beyond residential connections, ViaSat says the

Even Congress is making jokes about Coldplay’s Super Bowl performance

(Matt Cowan/Getty Images)     Tweet Share Chris Martin and the members of Coldplay likely woke up Monday morning feeling pretty good about themselves, having just performed their first Super Bowl halftime show. Despite a lingering sense that they were outshined by their cohorts, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, they were probably prepared to kick back and bask in the afterglow of the world’s adulation for having done such a magnificent job. But all it would take was a quick glance at their smartphones to realize such adulation would not be forthcoming. Instead, the group would be subjected to a barrage of adjectives, including “awful,” “excruciating,” and “lame.” Beyoncé stole the show, they would learn, and Coldplay, the Nickelback of the UK, would be relegated to the dustbin of Super Bowl halftime show history.   How bad was their performance? The United States Congress, an organization so thoroughly hated by the public that polling firms have

Burger King has its ‘iPad moment,’ announces two hot dog SKUs

    Tweet Share Last night, Burger King announced one the biggest changes to its product lineup since chicken: a hot dog — two different SKUs of hot dogs, to be exact. Yes, we now live in a world in which hotdogs have SKUs, and tech is everything, even our lunch. The modern gadget announcement, established by Apple’s notoriously choreographed product reveals, has spread to the world of fast food. The hot dog announcement was delivered in a showy Manhattan loft. Today, a steamy frank is launched with the gravitas and spectacle of the latest smartphone. Burger King’s North America president Alex Macedo didn’t shy away from the language and established beats honed by companies like Google and Microsoft. If anything, he owned them. The hotdog is Burger King’s tablet equivalent — a product meant to complement its flagship mega-seller (in this case, a Whopper). To wit: Multiple SKUs. (Yes,

Watch the first trailer for The Purge: Election Year

[embedded content]     Tweet Share What happens when an enterprising senator attempts to bring an end to the Purge? That’s the question at the heart of The Purge: Election Year, the third entry in James DeMonaco’s The Purge series. Lost veteran Elizabeth Mitchell plays Senator Charlie Rowan, a rising political star who’s campaigning on a promise to stop the violent annual bacchanal after it ruined her family; Frank Grillo returns as the Purge veteran tasked with protecting her. Will she make it through a pre-election Purge alive? No one knows! Anything goes! That’s the whole point of the Purge! The series’ blend of standard-issue horror and cutting social commentary has made it a surprising success. When Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey battened down the hatches in 2013’s The Purge, the movie ended up making almost $90 million against a relatively tiny budget, and 2014 sequel The Purge: Anarchy was

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script coming this summer, saving you trip to London

(Pottermore)     Tweet Share The continuation of Harry Potter’s story won’t be limited to the theater. The script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the first part of a pair of stage plays that begin performances this July with a West End staging, will be available for sale beginning this summer, according to author J.K. Rowling’s publishing group, Pottermore. In fact, two versions of the two-part story will be available. A Special Rehearsal Edition will be sold while the shows are in previews — a theater term for the public performances a major theatrical production uses to hone a script and staging before its premiere. When the shows begin in earnest, a Definitive Collector’s Edition will be available, presumably featuring any last minute changes to the script. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is spread across two performances “due to the epic nature of the story.” The pair of

I drank beer and wrote release notes with the Medium release notes team

    Tweet Share In May of last year, I posed a question on Twitter: Do you ever get the feeling that everyone at Medium is drunk? My question had been inspired by the latest release notes for the publishing platform’s iOS app, which had taken the form of a poem: There’s an iOS app we call Medium ’Tis a great cure for your tedium You can highlight in story Add tags for more glory And many more people be reading ’em As a limerick, it didn’t quite scan. To the extent it conveyed what was new inside the app, it was hazy and incomplete. And yet given the tedious, perfunctory quality of most release notes — “This app has been updated with bug fixes and performance improvements” — Medium’s slapdash poetry was undeniably refreshing.   As it turned out, the company was only getting started. In 2015 Medium delivered updates

Can PewDiePie grow up without alienating his fans?

    The biggest star on the internet is sad. “This is going to be a hard video to make,” Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, said to the camera in a recent video. “This is going to be a hard video to make because I am already kind of upset. I, uh, I’m not going to cry. But I think you can tell that uh, uhm, that this is important to me.” Over the last five years the self conscious Swede has accumulated 42 million YouTube followers, making him by far the most popular creator on the platform. He has plenty of experience with anonymous rage directed his way, but this is different. “It’s not like ‘haters’ are bringing me down,” Kjellberg explains. “The reason why I’m upset is I feel like it’s coming from my fans. If people write a dumb hate comment, I couldn’t care less, but

First US organ transplant from an HIV-positive donor to take place at Johns Hopkins

(KRISTOPHER RADDER/U.S. Navy)     Tweet Share The first American kidney and liver transplants between people with HIV will be performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times reports. If successful, scientists will be able to perform more of these transplants, and that could be huge for organ transplantation in the US; researchers at the university estimate that donations from people who are HIV-positive could save more than 1,000 people. Currently, people living with HIV can receive organs from donors who don’t have the infection. But transplants between two people with HIV were forbidden from 1988 until November 2013, when President Obama lifted the ban by signing the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. Because of the ban, suitable organs from over 500 people with HIV went to waste each year, Dorry Segev, associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University, told the Times. Now Johns Hopkins says the

Netflix’s Beat Bugs is a kids’ show built around the music of The Beatles

[embedded content]     Tweet Share A diverse collection of popular musicians have come together to record a compilation of Beatles covers, and you’ll have to watch a children’s show about walking, talking bugs if you want to hear it. Netflix’s Beat Bugs is the newest addition to the streaming service’s growing library of kid-friendly content, and it revolves around the music of The Beatles. The brainchild of Australian filmmaker Josh Wakely, the show will follow the adventures of “charming, funny, [and] adventurous” insects who explore a suburban backyard. Each 11-minute episode incorporates one of The Beatles’ songs in some way, and the show will feature covers by Eddie Vedder (“Magical Mystery Tour”), Sia (“Blackbird”), P!nk (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), and others. To hear Wakely tell it, he had no idea how difficult it would be to acquire the rights to The Beatles’ music for use within the