A lot of products come out each week — we don’t highlight all of them, but all of them make it into The Verge Database . In Spec Sheet, a weekly series, we survey the latest product entries to keep track of the state of the art. Chromebooks are making a big statement in the laptop world: NPD Group Inc.
Justice of Toren is a living ship far beyond AI, spending millennia carrying officers and troops for the Radchaai Empire’s endless planetary annexations. Those troops are ancillaries – sometimes called corpse soldiers – reanimated bodies that now share a single consciousness and act as one. Breq was once the ancillary One Esk and the ship Justice of Toren. But now, separated in a moment of trauma, she’s autonomous. It’s a condition so rare no one suspects what she is
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Join the Verge Book Club and read ‘Ancillary Justice’ in March!
Jim Munroe sez, “Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads .
Spencer Hall interviews former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Rick McCrary about what it’s like to fly the world’s fastest plane. Spoiler: It’s terrifying. Continue reading…
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Flying the world’s fastest plane: behind the stick of the SR-71
You’re gonna want to steer clear of this CUPID. The Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, or “stun copter,” can deliver 80,000 volts of pure projectile terror directly into the skin of an ill-intentioned hoodlum. This is serious business for…
The typical South By Southwest attendee, according to the comedian Alex Blagg, is a “guy who wears cool stuff,” and sports a “sweet mustache and glasses,” “fancy blazers with tons of zippers and straps,” and a “black backpack full of batteries.” In other words: hipster meets geek. Even as SXSW has expanded from music, to film, to the startup world, to the eco movement, the show has maintained a consistent theme. The world of SXSW attracts a young, creative, college-educated, liberal-leaning crowd whose interests often bleed over from indie flicks to web design or from music to music streaming apps. But this year, SXSW introduced a new track that seems a bit… out of place.
Revenge of the jocks: sports invades tech’s Texas utopia
We’ll soon be crowning winners in our annual Engadget Awards, but we need your input first. If you haven’t answered our survey about the best products from 2013 yet, head here now. You’ll be able to nominate your picks until 11:59PM ET tonight, March…
I’ve written a guest editorial for the new Guardian Cities site about the way that the offices that house the startups of London’s famed “Silicon Roundabout” are being systematically demolished by developers who are put up cheap, high-rise private student housing to take advantage of a foreign-student bubble.
The Federal Aviation Administration may want to go through some rigorous testing before it allows commercial drone flights on a broader basis, but the National Transportation Safety Board isn’t willing to wait that long. One of the Board’s judges has…
Judge rules that flying commercial drones is legal, for now
Android users looking for something to fill the hole that Flappy Birds once occupied now have a less trivial time sink in the form of QuizUp. As you’d expect from a trivia app worth its salt, it comes loaded with tons of topics (over 400) to choose…
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Forget trivia night at the local bar, QuizUp’s now on Android
In Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases , a new paper published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease , a Swiss psychiatrist named Peter Gasser and his colleagues report on the first controlled trial of LSD in forty years.
Even though CES 2014 is long gone, some of the stuff announced there is just now starting to become available for purchase. Case in point: Sharp’s Quattron+ lineup, a series of 2014 AQUOS televisions featuring the latest and greatest, including a…
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Sharp’s near-4K TVs are now available, starting at $2,500
EdX’s open online education system has drawn a lot of interest — enough interest that the non-profit has just loosened up its membership structure to allow for more participants. The revamp lets 12 additional organizations offer free internet-based…
Senator Joe Manchin delivered a grandstanding, technologically clueless, facepalm-inducing request to the Treasury Department to ban Bitcoin . In response, Rep Jared Polis ( who proudly wears Boing Boing tee-shirts in his spare time, and rocks some snazzy duds on the floor of Congress) wrote a mock-serious request for dollar bills to be removed from circulation , pointing out that practically every objection that Manchin raised over Bitcoin applies equally well to paper money.
GPS leashes trackers for kids are hardly new, but damn if this isn’t the cutest we’ve seen so far. Like other trackers of this sort, the HereO watch allows parents to create so-called safe zones around schools, et cetera, and then receive alerts…
“The first controlled LSD study in more than 40 years was released today in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease …
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Bummers more likely from placebo than 200 mics of LSD
In this International Labour Office complaint , Miranda Brown, a former employee of the World Intellectual Property Agency, alleges that WIPO Director General Francis Gurry illegally collected DNA samples from WIPO staffers in order to out a whistleblower.
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Complaint: WIPO director illegally collected staff DNA in order to out whistleblower
Regardless of whether Mars One actually puts a team of astronauts on the Red Planet, over a thousand people are currently competing to be sent into space and never return. Short documentary “Mars One Way,” made by Vita Bretis Films and Video West, will tell you why five of them want to make that trip, and what they’re leaving behind: wives, boyfriends, children, and virtually every other known living thing in the universe. Mars One has produced its own set of would-be astronaut profiles, called “One Way Astronaut.” But while the trailer to that film focuses on the thrill of exploration, “Mars One Way” is about coming to terms with abandoning Earth forever, whether you’re doing it out of a pioneer spirit or crippling depression. “Once…
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What would make you abandon Earth for Mars forever?
In August 2011, CNN bought the newsreading app Zite for $20 million. At the time, the cable-news giant said that Zite’s algorithms for personalizing news would transform its digital presence. “The Zite technology can also help CNN’s websites and apps serve more personalized content, making our current digital services even better,” said KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital, at the time. Yet yesterday, CNN unloaded Zite onto Flipboard in an all-stock deal that gives it a small equity stake in the company. Allowed to operate mostly independently for two and a half years, the app’s growth had slowed, ad revenue was negligible, and that vaunted Zite technology never materialized on CNN’s digital properties
The smarter news apps are, the dumber they get
When Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs for the first time in 2012, there was no such thing as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Well, okay, they existed in some sense of the word, but both consoles were far from publicly ready, making Watch Dogs an…
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Watch Dogs arrives on May 27th
I’ve been thinking about the news that Keurig has added “DRM” to its pod coffee-makers since the story first started doing the rounds a couple of days ago.
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Why DRM’ed coffee-pods may be just the awful stupidity we need