The LAPD has a Tesla now

At a press conference today, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced the lease of 160 battery electric vehicles and 128 plug-in hybrids for the city's vehicle fleet. "Today, we take another step toward becoming the most sustainable city in America," the mayor told reporters. "This year, Los Angeles will become home to the largest city-owned fleet of pure battery electric vehicles anywhere in the country, and we will save taxpayer dollars along the way." The city's fleet already includes 23 electric scooters and three fully electric motorcycles, but this is the first major move into electric cars. The mayor has set ambitious environmental goals for the fleet, requiring that electric vehicles constitute half of the light duty fleet by...
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Tumblr now has its own clothing line designed by some of its biggest bloggers

Tumblr is partnering with Print All Over Me — a website that lets designers add custom prints to a cycling selection of basic clothing silhouettes and collect a portion of the profits — to release its first ever clothing line. The project, in honor of Tumblr's 10th year of involvement with New York Fashion Week, spotlights young designers with large Tumblr followings. The project is interesting not just because of the crazy cool clothes (ranging in price from $30 to $250) but because this is one of the very few times in which establishing a large Tumblr following has paid off in the real world. Tumblr has always felt like an incredibly insular place: it doesn't reward personalities nearly as much as it rewards the value of individual...
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Find love in a hopeless place with our Burning Man missed connection generator

There's plenty of strange stuff slapped onto sites like Craigslist on a daily basis, but my favorite annual wave of weirdness hits every September. That's when patchouli-scented vagabonds like Katy Perry and Susan Sarandon return from Burning Man, the planet's most prominent and freaky utopian experiment / hippie party, and try to find the friends and lovers they made in the heart of Black Rock City. They're living in different cities; they might be living under different names. All they have to work with are a few substance-addled memories and the insane connective powers of the internet. Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to go to Burning Man. They can read about each year's new batch of missed connections just about e...
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You can use the new Moto X on Google’s Project Fi network

The Nexus 6 is no longer the only phone that's compatible with Project Fi. Droid Life has discovered that the new Moto X Pure Edition can successfully be activated on Google's MVNO network using a fresh SIM card from Google, and functions normally without any major issues. LTE data works fine, and voice calls also go through problem-free. But there's confusion around whether the Moto X can actually utilize Wi-Fi calling on Fi, and some early tests seem to suggest it's only communicating with T-Mobile's network; the Nexus 6 intelligently hands off between T-Mobile and Sprint depending on which carrier has a stronger signal. So those quirks could definitely remove some of Project Fi's appeal. But it technically works, and it's very...
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The Knick season 2 trailer: Clive Owen keeps hitting bottom

Last year Steven Soderbergh and actor Clive Owen teamed up for The Knick, a riveting period drama about New York's Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 1900s. The show aired on Cinemax, so at the time I ended up seeing just the smattering of episodes that HBO ran in order to promote its sister network, but I was taken by the show: its horrifically clinical treatment of the subject matter; Owen's committed performance as a brilliant surgeon-slash-junkie; and its visual style, which could only be described as Soderberghian. The entirety of that first season is now available on HBO Go, but I'm thinking about springing for a Cinemax subscription this time around because this new trailer seems to show off everything that made the first season...
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FCC scolds Lyft for forcing users to opt in to automated texts

The FCC has recently been publicizing its crusade against robo-calls, and it looks like the latest company under fire from the Commission is ride-hailing startup Lyft. In a stern order sent today, the FCC accuses Lyft of unlawfully requiring users to opt-in to automated calls and text messages, only to make opting out near-impossible.
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If you’re planning on ordering an iPhone 6S tonight, do this right now

I have mixed emotions about Apple moving online iPhone pre-orders from a weeknight to a weekend; on the one hand, this means that many of us won't be getting turnt on a Friday. On the other hand, there won't be any bleary, dead-eyed workers collapsed at their desks the next morning. You win some, you lose some.
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NASA releases first clear image of Pluto’s small moon Nix

Today, NASA released the first crisp image of Pluto's jellybean-shaped moon Nix. The photo was taken by the New Horizons probe on July 14th as the spacecraft flew by Pluto. Until now, the only close-up photo we had of Nix was a blurry, enhanced-color image. From that photo, NASA estimated that Nix is 26 miles long and 22 miles wide, shaped a bit like a football. This new picture, taken by New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), reveals the moon isn't smooth but rough around the edges. There also appears to be a large crater on its surface. We've only known about Nix's existence for a short time. The tiny moon was first discovered in 2005 in images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is one of four moons that orbit...
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Fall 2015 music guide: the 48 albums we can’t wait to hear

     It's never been easier to feel like you're drowning in a sea of new music. There are surprise releases, delayed releases, singles and EPs and mini-albums and mixtapes, streaming platform exclusives, and artists who don't stream their music at all; finding everything you want to hear can feel like a full-time job in its own right, never mind actually <em>listening</em> to it. Spotify and Apple Music can feed you new releases and playlists like there's no tomorrow, but there are times when you just want someone you trust to answer one simple question: "What do I need to hear this week?"
That's the spirit in which The Verge's music fans have written our Fall 2015 music guide. There are almost 50 albums in here, spread out over three months — we're...
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NASA TV is launching a dedicated 4K channel

NASA has announced that it will launch a new 4K television channel dedicated to showing UHD footage on November 1st. The space agency is working with a company called Harmonic, a video delivery infrastructure company, to launch the channel. NASA is calling it "the first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition channel in North America." Harmonic is providing NASA Television with the ability to deliver the 4K (2160p at 60 frames per second) video. The plan for the new channel sounds similar to the way NASA Television currently works. You will be able to access it on the internet on most devices, provided you have access to a connection of 13 Mbps or higher, and it will also be available from certain television providers. That...
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Are you the White House press secretary? Siri is coming for your job

Depending on where you sit, the White House press secretary's real job looks a lot like not answering questions. In that sense, it might be a great position to replace with artificial intelligence — and Siri just submitted her résumé. Yesterday, during a White House press briefing, Apple's digital assistant preempted Obama Administration spokesperson Josh Earnest by answering a reporter's long-winded question about the Iran nuclear deal. "With having to sustain a filibuster, to avoid disapproval from Congress," the reporter asked, "is the president upset that it couldn't get even one Republican..." and then Siri chimed in. "Sorry, I'm not sure what you want me to change," Siri said. Everyone in the room laughed, except for Siri: a true...
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Europe’s refugee crisis spurs online activism, but few long-term solutions

Max Thalbach has spent the past month helping refugees cross European borders. He doesn't hide them in the trunk of his car or ferry them across the Mediterranean. Instead, he publishes tips and advice on how to slip past roadway checkpoints: never carry cash, dress discreetly, always travel with a lead car and speak in code. It's all part of a web-based campaign the 29-year-old launched over the summer with the other members of the Peng Collective, an activist group founded two years ago in Berlin. Those caught helping undocumented people cross European borders face up to 10 years in prison, and Thalbach is well aware of the risk — that's why he uses Max Talbach as a pseudonym. But the group has set up an online fund to help cover...
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Watch three astronauts return from the International Space Station

Three astronauts are headed back home to Earth today. Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, Andres Mogensen of the European Space Agency, and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency will leave the International Space Station in a Soyuz capsule later this afternoon. They're slated to undock from the station at 5:29PM ET and then re-enter Earth's atmosphere two and a half hours later. The trio should gently touch down in Kazakhstan at 8:51PM ET.
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The Vergecast 170: Apple TV, iPad Pro, and iPhone 6S

A day after Apple’s huge event, we ran through all the big announcements. The Hype Seat has transformed into the Skype Seat so that Casey Newton can join Dieter Bohn, Jake Kastrenakes, and Chris Welch. Is the Apple TV just a super Roku? Just how Surface-y is the new iPad Pro? If you 3D Touch a 2D screen in a 1D forest, does it make a sound? All these questions will be answered with a Live Shot, except instead of a moving picture it’s a podcast. And hey! Did you know that The Vergecast has its very own YouTube channel now? Subscribe, share, and Chromecast it to your heart's content.

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The Sony A7s II makes it easy to shoot 4K video in the dark

Sony broke ground in the camera world in 2013 with the announcement of the A7 line of cameras — the first mirrorless cameras with full-frame sensors. They were exceptional cameras, even with a handful of notable flaws. Then, last year, the company announced a more video-minded version with the A7s, which could shoot 4K video and had truly unbelievable low light performance. Now, Sony is building on that with the brand new A7s II. The first new feature you notice about the A7s II is 5-axis image stabilization. Sony made waves when it added 5-axis stabilization to the A7 II back in November, making it the first full-frame camera with such a feature. But it makes even more sense here, considering how powerful the A7s II should be when...
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Stephen Colbert’s interview with Joe Biden is the best he’s ever done

A year or two from now, it's unlikely that we'll remember any bits or standout moments from the first episode of Stephen Colbert's Late Show — aside from Jon Stewart's cameo, maybe. But last night, in a deeply emotional interview with Vice President Joe Biden that spanned 20 minutes (an eternity by late night TV standards), Colbert gave viewers something they — and the host himself — won't soon forget. Biden, just a few months removed from the devastating loss of his son Beau to brain cancer, filled the Late Show guest seat as he continues to weigh another run at the presidency. He didn't give a clear answer one way or the other on a potential 2016 bid, but within three or so minutes of sitting down, politics mostly fell by the wayside....
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