The Man in the High Castle will end with season 4, trailer reveals


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I think I’ve come to a realization — most of my current favorite TV shows are only still favorites because I’m waiting for them to come to what seems like an inevitably gruesome end. I’m a deer in the headlights, hoping that in a world where death and dismay is around every corner, the Game of Thrones cast might actually find their final rest; the handmaids in The Handmaid’s Tale might permanently escape their torture and mutilation the only way that seems plausible; Westworld will see the robots triumph over humanity (yes I’m in that camp); and that Killing Eve might, well, it’s right there in the title.

That’s why I’m delighted to say that The Man in the High Castle will end after its fourth season, as you can see by watching this new…

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Huawei founder speaks out: ‘The US can’t crush us’


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Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei basically just said his company is too big and too important to fail.

In his first public interview since his daughter — Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou — was arrested in December, he tells the BBC that the US government’s accusations and criminal indictments, including fraud and the theft of trade secrets, won’t be enough to “crush” Huawei.

“There’s no way the US can crush us,” he said. “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”

Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of US law enforcement, and the US is attempting to extradite her to stand charges here.

Huawei has faced intense scrutiny in…

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The most trusted source of Apple rumors says 2019 iPhones will have these features


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Tech reporters never fully trust a rumor, but some rumors have more credibility than others — and few have a track record for pegging Apple releases like analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who first revealed the screen sizes and features of last year’s iPhones, among other things.

Now, Kuo has released a new analyst note (via 9to5Mac and MacRumors) with his predictions across Apple’s entire lineup of devices, and he’s corroborating reports that the Cupertino company will release three iPhones in 2019 as well — including one with a triple-camera system.

While Kuo predicts that the phones will have the same screen sizes and even the same notches — and that the 6.1-inch iPhone XR followup will still use a cheaper LCD, rather than OLED screen — he adds…

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The ‘90s app responsible for those transforming Animorphs book covers


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Today, I learned The Verge has never written a single post that so much as mentions Animorphs. This is a travesty that will now end.

Because today is also the day I am sharing this delightful video from YouTube’s retro computing and gaming enthusiast LGR, which vividly shows how an exceptionally specialized piece of early ‘90s video editing software — Avid’s Elastic Reality — was used to morph kids into animals, creating the eye-popping cover art for those kid thrillers back in the day.

To be sure, you could have learned that one David Mattingly was the artist behind those covers if you ever stumbled upon this excellent Vice interview from 2015, where he describes the software, his technique, and how he lucked into the job. But it’s…

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Apple hires failed smart lock startup CEO to help build home products


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He tried to sell a $700 smart lock. His startup went belly-up, leaving employees and contractors in the cold. But now, he’s working for Apple — and leading a new smart home initiative to boot, according to a CNBC report.

To be fair, Sam Jadallah’s smart lock company Otto did produce exactly the kind of gadget we’ve come to expect from Apple: a meticulously engineered device that smacks of luxury, yet with a minimalist external design that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. And at Apple, he won’t have to worry about finding investors to keep his ideas afloat. (In 2018, Jadallah blamed the death of Otto on a mystery buyer who pulled out at the last moment.)

But the interesting part of this story isn’t who Apple has…

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Samsung quits making new Blu-ray players


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Slowly but surely, spinning discs are dying out, and Samsung just put another nail in their coffin. The company told Forbes that it’s done producing 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players — and CNET was able to confirm that Samsung is halting production on at least some of its 1080p Blu-ray players as well.

“Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market,” a Samsung spokesperson told CNET.

Technically, there’s still the possibility that Samsung may continue to produce its existing Blu-ray players for months or years to come — the company still has quite a few models on sale — or introduce new ones in specific countries outside the US. We’ve asked Samsung to clarify.

But practically speaking, Samsung may…

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LG says it isn’t launching a folding phone


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The first wave of folding phone announcements is nigh, with Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and others expected to show devices this month. But the one company I’d expect to join them — LG — says it’ll be sitting this one out.

Though LG is the same company that’s been wowing us with rollable TVs, it just told reporters that it’s “too early” to produce a folding phone.

Here’s what LG Electronics mobile and TV boss Brian Kwon said during a press conference in Seoul, as reported by The Korea Times:

“During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, LG introduced a rollable TV. This is an advanced technology one step ahead of foldable technology. We have reviewed releasing the foldable smartphone when launching 5G smartphone but decided not to…

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Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod will have proximity shutoff sensors to limit exposure to millimeter waves


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Last August, Motorola announced what might still wind up being the world’s first true 5G phone — the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z3 with an optional 5G Moto Mod. It’s a snap-on module that the company promised would give you an insanely fast 5Gbps cellular connection, faster than most landlines these days. But Moto Z3 buyers had to take the company’s word for that, because the 5G Mod wouldn’t be available until “early 2019,” when Verizon’s 5G NR network is due to launch in the United States.

Well, the 5G Moto Mod just crossed the FCC today, and it came with a surprise in tow — a document that has more details about how it’ll work than I thought the company would ever publicly reveal.

And one of those details is sure to surprise some people,…

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Google is reportedly hiding behind shell companies to scoop up tax breaks and land


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Should local communities have the right to know before a big tech company moves in? Should they be able to protest before city planners offer those companies millions or even billions of dollars in incentives? Those were the questions raised when Amazon was promised $1.2 billion in subsidies to bring a new headquarters to New York City, and we’re asking them again today — because The Washington Post reports that Google has been using secret shell companies to nab millions in tax breaks as it expands its data centers and offices across the US.

The Post’s investigation starts with a doozy: Google reportedly hid behind the name “Sharka LLC” to win $10 million in tax breaks for a new data center in Midlothian, Texas, by signing both its…

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TCL’s first foldable phone could slap-bracelet itself into a smartwatch


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We’ve seen practically as many different folding phone concepts as there are phone manufacturers, but one particularly intriguing idea may soon be coming back from the dead — CNET reports that BlackBerry and Alcatel brand owner TCL is working on as many as five different foldable devices, one of them a phone that can bend around your wrist like a bracelet, per the image you’re seeing immediately above these words.

That’s actually not a new idea: one of the very first folding phone prototypes we saw from Lenovo was a bracelet-watch, back in 2016. Here’s a video of that one from Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Anshel Sag:

To be honest, details on TCL’s devices are pretty scarce. CNET’s only got the renders above and an image from a…

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LG’s first 5G phone just leaked — here’s the V50 ThinQ


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OK, I’m about convinced that Vlad is right: phone manufacturers aren’t even trying anymore. Hot on the heels of learning practically everything Samsung could possibly announce at its Galaxy S10 press conference later this month, including up to five phones and an entire wearables lineup, we’re now leaning that LG’s new superphone — the LG V50 ThinQ — has just broken cover. It turns an entire trail of bread crumbs into a remarkably decent picture of a phone worth watching for.

We knew that LG was bringing a 5G smartphone to Sprint in the first half of 2019, and separately, we’d heard that the company might debut its rumored, 5G-equipped V50 superphone alongside the likely-to-be-more-reasonably-priced LG G8 at Mobile World Congress later…

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Netflix went on lockdown in Los Angeles after a fake active shooter threat


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Netflix’s Los Angeles studio had quite a scare today, after reports of a possible active shooter caused the company to lock down the building — in this case, the Sunset Bronson Studios which the company shares with CBS and local news channel KTLA.

But an LAPD spokesperson tells The Verge that the gunman never actually existed. “The suspect was never on site,” explaining that a local resident phoned in a threat around 3:53pm. Police first responded by locking down the building, and later took a suspect into custody. The lockdown has since been lifted.

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Our best look yet at the LG G8 ThinQ


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When LG reveals its new high-end G8 ThinQ smartphone, the design probably won’t be a surprise — because noted phone leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) has just revealed clear images that show the handset from practically every angle, weeks ahead of its likely debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month.

That’s on top of some near-identical images at XDA-developers last month.

While LG hasn’t confirmed that this is what the phone will look like, nor provided many details, the company has technically already announced this phone — last week, LG confirmed that it would sell a handset called the LG G8 ThinQ, complete with a time-of-flight 3D depth…

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The US government is about to put a dog tag on your drone


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Get ready to stick some ID on the outside of your drone — starting February 23rd, a new FAA rule will require all small unmanned aircraft to have their registration markings visible on the outside of their body, so law enforcement can easily find their owners.

In a preview document published at the Federal Register (spotted by Bloomberg), the FAA says the move is in response to terrorism fears, specifically “the risk a concealed explosive device poses to first responders who must open a compartment to find the small unmanned aircraft’s registration number.”

Currently, US law requires that you register certain classes of drones with the FAA and mark them with your ID number — yes, even though drone registration was successfully…

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The Handmaid’s Tale returns for its third season on June 5th


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Last May, we learned that Hulu’s spectacularly dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale would be returning for a third season, and last week’s Super Bowl gave us a tease — now, Hulu is confirming that the award-winning drama will debut on June 5th.

That’s when the first three episodes of the show will arrive, assuming you’re still willing to grit your teeth and bare the torture and mutilation the series makes its women endure — in exchange for, occasionally, the barest glimpse of hope that they might escape and survive a totalitarian United States where they are torn from their children and turned into sex slaves to produce more for families favored by the government.

Or an eerily plausible cautionary tale of what might happen in a world where…

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Carriers selling your location to bounty hunters: It was worse than we thought


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Remember last month, when we learned that AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint had not immediately fulfilled their promises to stop selling the real-time location of your phone to shady third-parties, and a black market had sprung up to meet the demands of even shadier individuals who might like to know where you are?

Well, Motherboard is doubling down on the investigation that revealed these things, and today it’s reporting that the scandal may be larger than we thought. You’ll probably want to take a look at their full story, but the gist is this: until late 2017, a second-hand data broker called LocationSmart sold data to a third-hand data broker known as CerCareOne, which in turn let as many as 250 bounty hunters and bail bondsman find an AT&T,…

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Spotify, the leading music streaming app, is finally profitable


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Spotify is about to try to become a podcasting giant with two new acquisitions — and we have some suggestions for that — but first, it’s crossing an important milestone with its music streaming business. Today, for the very first time, the company is reporting that it’s turned a profit.

That’s right: some 13 years and 96 million paid subscribers later, Spotify is finally making money. Unless you count that one time a complicated tax situation technically threw it into the black.

“[F]or the first time in company history, Operating Income, Net Income, and Free Cash Flow were all positive,” reads a portion of Spotify’s financial announcement this morning. Specifically, the company made an operating profit of €94 million, or about $107…

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Nest issues cryptic warning — spoiler alert, it’s about strangers peeking your cameras


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Today, Google is doing something it should have done weeks or months ago — it’s emailing owners of its Nest security cameras that they should really, really pick a better password, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), and be vigilant if they don’t want strangers to hijack those cameras and peek into their homes over the internet.

Because that’s a thing that has actually been happening in some instances, including a fake nuclear bomb threat that really freaked one family out.

Thing is, Google’s email doesn’t actually say why people should be vigilant right now. It doesn’t mention the camera scares at all.

“We’ve heard from people experiencing issues with their Nest devices,” reads a painfully generic line in the email.

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Programmer finds ridiculous ATM loophole that let him withdraw $1 million in cash


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It sounds like something straight out of a movie: an unsatisfied bank programmer discovers the perfect scheme for making an ATM spit out free money.

But apparently, this story is true: The South China Morning Post and China’s Daily Economic News report that 43-year-old Qin Qisheng managed to withdraw over 7 million yuan (upwards of $1 million USD) from ATMs operated by his employer, Huaxia Bank — all by exploiting a crazy loophole.

According to the reports, the bank’s system didn’t properly record withdrawals made around midnight — effectively spitting out cash without removing the total from a user’s account. Normally, that might send up a red flag that a transaction had failed, but Qisheng allegedly inserted scripts into the system…

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Today’s your last chance to save old Flickr photos from an untimely death


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Tomorrow — February 5th, 2019 — is the day that Flickr will stop offering 1TB of free storage. Instead, the company will only let users store 1,000 photos for free. And if you’ve got more than 1,000 photos, the company will start deleting them.

That means that today, now, maybe even this very moment, is your last chance to cough up $49.99 per year for a Flickr Pro account to avoid imminent deletion. Or perhaps just download your photos from Flickr to a hard drive (here’s how) and upload them somewhere else. (I use Google Photos, but to each their own.)

If you’re an avid photographer, chances are you’ve already backed up your originals. (Flickr’s been warning about this change for months now.) And Flickr previously said more than 97…

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