Thanks, I hate it

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Welcome to Fav’d For Later, a Friday roundup of our favorite memes, trends, and all-around good internet content. This week, we will definitely not talk about dicks and other things we cannot unsee.

The internet was abuzz this week with Dong Talk™. If you missed the flurry around Donald Trump and Toad — yes, that one — then consider yourself lucky. (Everyone else, please know I, too, am on the market for brain bleach. I will report back ASAP.)

Not to be outdone by the rest of 2018’s baffling news cycle, DC jumped in with an unsolicited picture of Batman’s dick. The full-frontal comes to us courtesy of Batman: Damned #1, the first in a new limited series about the coc — *chokes* CAPED crusader.

No, I will not help you find pictures of...

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SpaceX gets into space tourism while the Department of Justice gets into Tesla

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So, last Thursday, SpaceX announced there would be an event to reveal the first private passenger it will send to the Moon, and I was headed to Los Angeles for it when the Vernon Unsworth thing broke.

You may remember Unsworth as the cave diver who Elon Musk called a pedo. Musk apologized before doubling down a couple times and essentially daring Unsworth to sue for defamation. Unsworth’s suing; he’s filed in the US, and that filing suggests we have a UK suit to look forward to as well. There are tighter libel laws in the UK, so that suit will likely be punishing if it goes ahead. The TL;DR from a real lawyer, and not someone who plays one on Twitter, is that it’s a defensible case in the US. (Hyperbole, insult, opinion — mostly fine in...

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/21/17883826/spacex-moon-tourism-doj-tesla-criminal-investigation-elon-musk">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

How NASA is learning to grow plants in space and on other worlds

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     The trick: try to use less soil

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It’s Amazon’s home, and we’re just living in it

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Yesterday’s “surprise” Amazon event was a stunning display of bravado from the so-called everything store. It gave us the clearest view yet of what Amazon’s home operating system will look like. The interface is your voice, and the hardware is everything you see around you. The peripherals are standard household items that are embedded with invisible microphones and integrated together through software and a vast array of interconnecting services.

Google and Apple have their own stories to tell, with smartphones and speakers playing central roles. But neither company has put the pieces together as cohesively as Amazon, whose story is told through a spate of Alexa products of good-enough quality that can be easily delivered to your...

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Samsung gives Note 9 users an option to reduce accidental Bixby activations

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Samsung’s latest Note 9 update lets you active Bixby with a double tap of its dedicated button, reports Android Authority. Previously, you could only activate the divisive voice assistant with a single tap, which could lead to it being accidentally activated, especially when Samsung offers no option to disable it entirely.

Since its arrival, the Bixby button has become a controversial inclusion on Samsung’s handsets, mainly because it pales in comparison to Google Assistant, Alexa, and, yes, even Siri. Although you could initially remap the button on the S8 to open the camera or another app of your choice, Samsung has since done its best to block the process; on the Note 9, you can’t disable the assistant at all.

In an ideal world,...

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The most heartwarming video you’ll see today is of scientists cooing over this rare eel

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Moments of scientific discovery are not usually caught on film, but this clip of marine biologists finding a gulper eel in the Pacific Ocean is a rare and delightful exception.

The footage comes via the research ship Nautilus, which is funded by Robert Ballard (the man who discovered the wreck of the Titanic), on its mission of “pure ocean exploration.” For promotion and outreach, the Nautilus has been live-streaming footage from its underwater rovers for years. The videos are fascinating, both as a look at what lurks at the bottom of the ocean, and a glimpse of the day-to-day lives of these scientists. There’s a lot of drifting around looking at rocks and coral, and then — suddenly — a moment of delight.

This clip is the latter.

The...

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The Verge Guide to the iPhone

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The Verge Guide to the iPhone is a comprehensive page that will help you decide which iPhone to buy, learn how to use its best features, and educate you about iOS — arguably, the world’s best mobile operating system.

Our guide is organized by sections, including iPhone model recommendations, plenty of iOS how-tos, accessories for your Apple device you should keep an eye out for, unique things about the iOS platform, and of course, videos by The Verge staff on everything in between.

If you’re looking to buy your first iPhone (or replace your old one) iPhone, we recommend reading the reviews by The Verge staff on today’s flagship models, as well as our how-to for selling your older iPhone.

D...

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How to make your own Animoji karaoke

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It didn’t take long for iPhone X buyers to move beyond just talking through Apple’s new Animoji to singing with them.

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/21/16614046/how-to-make-your-own-animoji-karaoke">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Razer’s Ifrit headset is more concerned with streaming than gaming

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Razer’s Ifrit is a new headset from the gaming brand that ditches the standard over-ear headphones for a pair of earbuds, which it combines with an arm-mounted microphone. The result is a more lightweight device that shouldn’t obscure your face as you stream - even if the condenser mic is still pretty chunky.

The Ifrit is natively compatible with the Xbox One and PC via its 3.5mm jack. If you want to use the headset with a PS4, you’ll need to use the included Razer USB Audio Enhancer to connect it to a spare USB port. This USB converter can also be used with the PC, where it can be used to plug two headsets into one machine. Given Razer’s pitch about the Ifrit being ideal for mobile broadcasting, it’s a shame to not see a USB Type-C...

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/9/21/17886006/razer-ifrit-gaming-headset-release-date-price">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Facebook’s problems in Europe are piling up

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Věra Jourová is the European Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality. Once upon a time, she had a Facebook account. It did not go well. “For a short time, I had a Facebook account,“ Jourová said at a news conference Thursday. “It was a channel of dirt. I didn’t expect such an influx of hatred. I decided to cancel the account because I realised there will be less hatred in Europe after I do this.”

Of course, quitting social media in flamboyant fashion has long been a popular activity for government and non-government users alike. The “Why I’m Leaving Twitter” Medium post is our generation’s “Why I’m Leaving New York” Movable Type entry.

But Jourová’s words carry more weight than most. She has a policy beef with Facebook,...

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Facebook’s Echo Show rival could be announced next week

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Facebook plans to announce its long-rumored Portal video chat device next week, according to a report in Cheddar. The device will reportedly function a lot like a Amazon’s Echo Show, but will place a specific emphasis on its facial recognition technology that will allow it to identify users and follow them throughout a room.

Rumors of the device have been around since a DigiTimes report emerged last year. At the beginning of 2018 Cheddar reported that the Facebook Portal was set for a reveal at the company’s F8 conference in May, however it now claims that this was delayed after the Cambridge Analytica scandal raised serious privacy concerns about the company. Even before that, Facebook was ranked far less trustworthy than either Amazon...

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Skype calling is coming to Amazon’s Alexa devices

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Microsoft and Amazon are continuing their close partnership by bringing Skype calling to Alexa. Devices like Amazon’s Echo range will be able to access Skype’s basic calling, and Alexa-powered hardware like the Echo Show will also include video calling support. You’ll also be able to use Skype to call mobile and landlines using SkypeOut, and simply say “Alexa, call Bob on Skype” to activate a call.

Skype calling on Alexa will be available “later this year,” says Microsoft, and it follows a preview of Alexa and Cortana integration that’s available across Echo devices, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft and Amazon first partnered together for Alexa and Cortana last year, and it’s clear from this Skype calling effort that both...

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Instagram is testing a native resharing feature for the feed

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After years of resistance, Instagram is now testing a way for you to reshare posts from other accounts to your own feed. The feature, which company executives have long resisted for fear it would corrupt the personal nature of the app, could bring new life to the main feed at a time when it is becoming rapidly eclipsed by ephemeral stories. But if resharing is rolled out to the entire user base, it could also invite in fake news, influence campaigns, and other negative consequences that Instagram parent Facebook has been working to address since the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election.

Instagram had no comment.

The feature, known internally as “seamless sharing,” introduces a new “share to feed” option into the “...” menu that...

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Now you can listen to Audible on your Apple Watch

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The latest Audible update brings the app to your Apple Watch, so you can listen to your audiobooks and podcasts without an iPhone. The new feature takes advantage of watchOS 5, which just rolled out this week to allow third-party apps like Audible to play background audio from the watch. Just make sure you sync the book from your iPhone or iPad before heading out, as the Apple Watch doesn’t support streaming from third-party apps yet.

The Audible app description mentions you can sync audiobooks to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth, but if you’re transferring over a big novel, it’ll probably take a while. But once you do, you’re free to listen to your audiobook or podcast at the gym, or anywhere you take your Apple Watch. The Audible app...

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Facial recognition scans are expanding to Delta flights in Atlanta International Airport

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Delta will soon use facial recognition for international flights at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport later this year. Biometric face scanning will be optional, meant as an option to save travelers time from checking in, as spotted by TechCrunch.

Those who don’t want their faces scanned could always opt out, but the option is only given to US citizens. Visitors will need to be scanned as a security measure. The data will be collected and stored for two weeks, although exit records will last for over a decade for citizens and green card holders, and over seven decades for visitors.

The Delta expansion is only the latest in a wider rollout of facial recognition-powered...

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CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery mini-episodes begin streaming next month

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Announced at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer, CBS has revealed that its series of short, standalone episodes — Star Trek: Short Treks — would begin rolling out next month, and revealed more details about what each one would be about.

CBS describes them as short stories, “that delve deeper into the Star Trek: Discovery universe.” The episodes will roll out monthly, on the first Thursday for the next four months, and will each focus on three characters from Star Trek: Discovery.

The first episode (airing October 4th), “Runaway,” will follow Tilly (Mary Wiseman) after she “encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help.” The second episode “Calypso” (airing November 8th), will star a new character, Craft (Aldis Hodge), who wakes...

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Amazon’s Echo event seems to have lost an iPhone X notch

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Amazon hit the tech world with a veritable firehose of new products at its Echo hardware event today, but one device seemingly slipped in under the radar — a new version of Apple’s iPhone X that seems to have ditched the notch for a completely bezel-less display.

Now, obviously this isn’t really a new iPhone — Amazon has just Photoshopped out the notch here, either to better show off the video capabilities of its Fire TV Recast service, or to make it a little less obvious that the device in question is actually an iPhone X. After all, why give a competitor free advertising when you don’t have to?

Still, it does speak...

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Electric skateboard startup Inboard announces an e-scooter with swappable batteries

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California startup Inboard Technology is moving beyond electric skateboards with a new e-scooter called the Glider. Available starting in February 2019, the Glider costs $1,299, though Inboard also says it wants to sell fleets of them to businesses, universities, or cities.

The Glider shares at least two of the ideas that made Inboard’s first product, the M1 electric skateboard, stand out from its competition. It’s powered by an in-wheel hub motor that puts out 750W of power, giving the scooter a top speed of more than 20 miles per hour.

The battery can also be easily swapped for a fresh one, meaning range is not a problem if you’re willing to pay for spares. Each battery lasts long enough to give the scooter about 12 miles of range....

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Michael B. Jordan will star in a new Tom Clancy film series

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The Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan has found a new home on television recently thanks to Amazon Prime and John Krasinski. But according to Variety, Paramount Pictures will be focusing on a different character for a new film series — and Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan is set to star.

Paramount is developing adaptations of the Clancy books Without Remorse and Rainbow Six, both of which focus on the character of John Clark. A former Navy Seal turned CIA operative, Clark was originally introduced in the 1987 novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin. In 1993, Clancy’s Without Remorse delved into the character’s backstory, while Rainbow Six followed his adventures forming a counter-terrorist group known as “Rainbow.” While numerous Clancy novels...

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Twitch is now blocked in China

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Twitch is now blocked in China. The major game streaming site is largely no longer accessible and its app has been removed from Apple’s local App Store, after it saw a noticeable boost in popularity last month, as spotted by Abacus.

Last month, Twitch hit the No. 3 spot among free apps in China, as locals began downloading the app to watch e-sports matches at the Asian Games. State-run broadcaster CCTV chose not to air the Asian Games, so users had to find alternative ways to watch the competition, especially as China performed well during the event and brought back two gold medals. Although the performance wasn’t streamed through the major broadcaster, China’s two wins were later covered by state-run media.

Twitch, which is owned by...

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