Archive for the ‘How To’ Category
Another high-level HTC executive has left the company. CNET reports that HTC Asia’s CEO Lennard Hoornik has now parted ways with the company after being on leave for two months. Hoornik was in charge of HTC’s Asian operations for just two years. It’s not clear why he was on leave, nor is it known whose decision the exit was
HTC Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik joins executive exodus
A new report from Oxfam estimates that at least $18.47 trillion is being held by individuals in so-called “tax haven” countries across the globe. The international agency says that a large bulk of that (approximately $12.29 trillion) can be traced to the EU. Oxfam says if you were to add all of that up, it’d be enough to end extreme poverty twice over. “These figures put the UK at the centre of a global tax system that is a colossal betrayal of people here and in the poorest countries who are struggling to get by, and put the government on the side of the privileged few,” said Emma Seery, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services
Margaret Killjoy sez, “Steampunk Magazine #9 is out and available for order. The pdf is up as well. New orders and pre-orders will be going out this weekend! 118 ad-free, Creative-Commons pages of steampunk mad science, lifestyle, fiction, and history. Including an interview with Cory Doctorow and how to make hydrogen airships out of condoms.”
Steampunk magazine #9
Despite being a driving source of interest in books, films, or TV shows, fanfiction faces an uncertain reaction from authors. Some have embraced it, others have tacitly accepted it, and a few have lashed out at fanfiction writers. But so far, virtually no one has done what bookseller Amazon now promises: offered to pay them for writing in other people’s universes. ” Kindle Worlds ,” announced just now, is an offshoot of Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing program.
We all know the feeling. You’re sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn’t cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future?
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The best writing of the week, May 19
Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei are set to face an EU investigation for anti-competitive behavior. Although the pair have both seen moderate success marketing their consumer devices in the region, the investigation is regarding the companies’ infrastructure equipment, which provides the backbone for the industry. In recent years Chinese companies have taken around a quarter of of the EU market, with sales of around €1 billion (roughly $1.3 billion). But according to European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the success has been due to anti-competitive predatory pricing.
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ZTE and Huawei face EU investigation over predatory pricing
When Cards Against Humanity saw its $4,000 Kickstarter campaign successfully raise almost four times its original goal, its makers were ecstatic. Two years later, the cards-based party game, which is available as a free PDF download or for $25 as a ready-made package, has generated an estimated $12 million in revenue, and in the past year alone was downloaded 1.5 million times from its website. It’s also spawned a reseller culture, with frequent stock shortages leading opportunists to sell the game for as much as $100 on sites like eBay. Despite that, its makers have stayed true to their cause, and have refused several investment and merchandising offers, preferring to go it alone.
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports, features, and reviews on The Verge. Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
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The Weekender: a new ‘Star Trek’, Google’s big event, and government and science as games
It’s easy to miss the Google TV booth here at I/O 2013, hidden in the corner of the third floor. That may not be an accident: there was apparently no room in the company’s sprawling three-and-a-half-hour keynote to mention Google TV, either, just a short blog post hours later announcing that it now runs the latest version of Android . So in a sea of new products, services, and pitches to developers, we couldn’t help but wonder: is TV dead? Google has killed plenty of products with many more fans than Google TV — will it go the way of Reader ? Continue reading…
Google TV: silent but not forgotten at I/O 2013
Google doesn’t want any reselling of Google Glass , and it will even shut down some key functionality if you even try to log into a the headset with multiple Google Accounts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hack into Glass at all. In fact, Google is encouraging hacking, albeit with clear boundaries. Continue reading…
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Google encourages developers to push the limits by hacking Glass
Google CEO Larry Page has finally opened up about a recurring and noticeable health problem — what Google Chairman Eric Schmidt characterized as the loss of Page’s voice last year. In a post on his Google+ page today , Page describes how he first encountered the issue “about 14 years ago,” right around the time that he cofounded Google, when he suffered a cold and then a hoarse voice, from which he says he never fully recovered. As Page writes: “So I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis. This is a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly.” Continue reading…
PS3 and Vita game Sound Shapes has some amazing music from some amazing artists: think Beck, Jim Guthrie , and Deadmau5 . But it also lets players create their own levels and sounds, and soon you’ll be able to check out our favorites. On May 28th, the Sound Shapes Milkcrate will add five guest-curated albums, featuring the best player-created levels the game has to offer. Among those guests is The Verge , and you’ll also be able to check out hand-picked albums from the likes of gaming site Gamespot , record label Ghostly International, Pixeljunk Eden composer Baiyon, and Sound Shapes developer Queasy Games. And if you’re looking to get started making some levels of your own, there’s good news, as today the game received two new $0.99 sound…
Play The Verge-curated ‘Sound Shapes’ album on May 28th
The biggest surprise at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is about to go on sale. The Nvidia Shield , a five-inch portable Android game console that can also stream PC games from a nearby gaming computer, will cost $349 at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, Canada Computers and Nvidia.com when pre-orders begin May 20th. Technically, you can actually pre-order one today if you sign up on Nvidia’s “notify me” webpage — and there’s nothing to keep you from doing that right now. Before you plunk down money on the latest gadget, though, why not read what the fuss is all about?
Following Outlook.com’s recent Skype integration , Microsoft is turning its integration focus to Google services today. Google Talk, an instant messaging service for text and audio, is being integrated directly into Outlook.com, Microsoft’s refreshed webmail service. The surprising move comes just days before Google is rumored to be rounding up its Google Talk and Hangouts services into a unified “Babel” service . Google Talk support just ahead of rumored Babel service Microsoft heard from Outlook.com users that they wanted to chat to their contacts using Google Talk, so the company utilized Google’s APIs to build the support.
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Outlook.com gets Google Talk support, rolling out worldwide this week
The Guardian this week published a fascinating in-depth report on the village of Newtok — a remote Alaskan community that, because of climate change, will likely be underwater within the next few years. Experts say it could be just four years before rising sea levels swallow Newtok, and although the community has already agreed to relocate to higher ground, a shortage of money and resources has precluded them from taking action. Meanwhile, erratic climate and weather patterns have convinced locals of the threat that global warming poses. “It’s changing a lot,” Newtok resident Nathan Tom said. “It’s real, global warming, it’s real.” Continue reading…
Relations between those who build mobile apps and their customers are getting a leg up today with Google’s announcement that all developers will now be able to reply to user reviews in the Play store. The company made the announcement on the Android Developers blog , discussing best practices like identifying and prioritizing bugs based on user impact and getting ideas for new improvements and features. The ability to respond to user reviews first started rolling out nearly a year ago, but now appears to finally be complete, following a false start in January . Continue reading…
If you’re looking for screenshots of Atari’s 1976 blockbuster Breakout , you may be in for a surprise today. Typing ” atari breakout ” into Google Image Search will return a fully playable version of the game, where the images are rendered as breakable blocks. The original version of the game was developed by a pre-Apple Steve Wozniak after his friend Steve Jobs promised Atari founder Nolan Bushnell that he could deliver a prototype in just four days. While this Google version may not have quite as storied a history, it stands out as one of the more elaborate Easter eggs we’ve seen from the search giant.
Play Atari’s classic ‘Breakout’ right inside Google Image Search
A reboot of astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Journey hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson is finally on its way to television. On Monday, Fox made an official announcement during its advertising upfront presentation at New York’s Beacon Theatre, reports The Los Angeles Times . The series has been in the works for years , and will be making its long-awaited premiere sometime in 2014. Continue reading…
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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ headed to Fox in 2014
Shane Todd’s parents, Rick and Mary Todd, arriving at the coroner’s public inquest. Photo: Belmont Lay Investigators and friends testified today that Shane Todd, the American engineer who was found hanging in his bathroom in Singapore last year , was depressed and even visited suicide-related websites in the months before his death. It was the first day of testimony in the highly sensitive 12-day coroner’s inquest, which was commissioned after Todd’s parents raised questions about their son’s death. The Todds believe that Shane was murdered , possibly because he facilitated an illegal transfer of military-grade technology from the US to China through his work at the Singaporean research agency Institute of Microelectronics.
Google has been extending the functionality of Google+ with a steady stream of feature rollouts , and today the company has announced the latest addition: the ability to add content recommendations to mobile websites. The feature — launching today on the Forbes mobile site — appears as a small bar at the bottom of a given article. Tapping it brings up suggested articles for that site, keying off the author, the topics discussed, or what is being shared on Google+ to generate the suggestions. Users don’t need to be signed into their Google+ account to see the recommendations, but if they are they’ll also see suggestions based upon what those in their Google+ Circles have been sharing. While Forbes is the immediate launch partner, any..
Members of the Avengers may not be hitting the small screen, but the peacekeeping and espionage agency that stands behind them, S.H.I.E.L.D., will be coming to ABC with its own set of heroes. The first trailer for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired last night, after being teased on Vine earlier in the day, and the all-too-quick 30-second spot paints the show as a mixture of spy thriller and superpower-studded action. ABC is yet to reveal a release date for the series, but as the network only recently announced that it had ordered a full season based off of the Joss Whedon-directed pilot, development of the show may only just be getting underway
Amazon has just debuted its own virtual currency , Amazon Coins, allowing customers to pay for apps on its Amazon Appstore for Android, as well as some in-app items. Kindle Fire customers in the US are the first to get their hands on Amazon Coins, as the company is giving all of them $5-worth of the currency, or 500 coins. But anyone can head to the Amazon Coins page and purchase Coins for themselves. Continue reading…
Amazon launches virtual currency Coins
Aereo has just announced that it is cutting back on the number of plans it offers by eliminating its $1 per day plan it introduced last summer as well as the option to have a cheaper annual subscription. Now, Aereo will only offer its its $8 monthly plan (which includes 20 hours of DVR storage) or a $12 monthly plan that triples DVR storage to 60 hours. Unfortunately for those who knew they were in for the long haul with Aereo, the $80 annual subscription will no longer be an option, which means customers will definitely be paying more over the course of a year, regardless of how much storage they need. Aereo says that its data showed that customers wanted a “simple” approach to pricing, but it’s a shame that simple approach eliminates… Continue reading…
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Aereo streamlines its plans, eliminates daily and annual subscription options
The charitable work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the focus of the Microsoft founder’s recent 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, but the longtime richest man in the world got emotional recounting what it was like to “practically grow up” with friend and rival Steve Jobs. Opening up a little about the pair’s final meeting in May of 2011. When asked what he and the late founder of Apple talked about during their meeting at the Jobs’s home, Gates welled up, saying, “what we’d learned, families… anything.” Continue reading…
A decision from Pakistan’s highest court in Peshawar has ruled that US drone strikes on tribal lands have taken place illegally and in violation of human rights. The court found that the strikes constitute war crimes, and occur without the consent of the Pakistani government, leaving a secret deal forged by the CIA and Pakistani military as the only possible hint of cooperation between the two nations. The decision cites recent estimates that the strikes have caused “at least 400″ civilian casualties since 2004, a number supported by previous reporting from public interest groups such as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New America Foundation . The case was originally filed by a charity representing the families of 17..
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US drone strikes condemned as illegal by Pakistan’s highest court