THE BIG STORY

The founder who swayed Silicon Valley with shoddy science

Nike reportedly abandons the FuelBand and lays off its hardware division

One of the first mainstream brands to make wearable fitness electronics is getting out of the game. Nike confirmed to CNET this afternoon that the company is laying off people in its hardware division, which makes the FuelBand line of fitness trackers. "As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities," Nike spokesman Brian Strong told The Verge in an email. "As our Digital Sport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team, and there will be a small number of layoffs." The company declined further comment.

Citing an unnamed source, CNET reports that as many as 55 people on Nike's 70-person hardware team were laid off on Thursday. (A rumor of the layoffs first surfaced on Secret, the anonymous social network.)  In addition to the FuelBand, Nike's hardware division makes the Nike+ sportwatch and other peripherals. The original FuelBand launched in 2012, but Nike was slow to iterate on it. Last fall, the company released a...

Disbanded

90 Seconds On The Verge

SpaceX continues its mission toward reusable rockets

Metamucil One, you’re go for take off. Remember, you will be carrying 40 tons of Metamucil, America’s number one fiber supplement. Since the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, astronauts have been forced to deal with eating food that does a real number on their digestive systems. The launch of Metamucil One marks a major step forward in the NASA astronaut diet....

Elon Musk wants space travel to be affordable

Concepts

3D-printed cast concept uses ultrasound to heal broken bones

Last year, Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill created the Cortex cast, a concept that sought to potentially replace traditional plaster casts while also offering the added benefit of being lightweight and odor-free. Now, the Osteoid cast, a new concept designed by Deniz Karasahin, takes things a step further by adding an ultrasound device meant to speed up the healing...

Nearly one-third of morning-after pills in Peru are fake

A whopping 28 percent of morning-after pills in Peru are fake. A study published today in PLOS ONE relates how some emergency contraceptives contain inadequate amounts of active ingredients that, in many cases, aren't being released quickly enough into the body to be considered effective. This, the researchers say, means that nearly one third of the pills — pills that are sold by licensed pharmacists — offer no protection against unwanted pregnancy.

Hands-on

My week with the new Google Play Edition HTC One

I like things pure. I don't put sugar in my coffee, there are no bumper stickers on my car, and I typically don't put a case on any smartphone I own. Google's special Google Play Edition smartphones have always appealed to me: I can get the best hardware in the Android world, without any of the software garbage that manufacturers typically add to the platform. But that doesn't always make for the best option: in the case of the Sony Z Ultra, Sony's version proved to be a better smartphone than the one with strictly Google's software.

Like last year, Google is selling its own version of the new One, the clumsily named HTC One (M8)...

Facebook's Paper app is looking less and less like Facebook

With Paper, Facebook set out to prove that it could "think small," rebuilding itself from the ground up for mobile devices. This meant removing lots of clutter, and in some cases, leaving out certain features that some Facebook users might have considered essential. Today, Facebook is launching Paper 1.1, an update meant to add back a few of Facebook's most important features, while continuing to think about how Paper can be different.

Paper...

"We’ve tried to keep Paper independent... and not get caught up in larger strategies going on in the main Facebook app." Michael Reckhow, product manager on Paper
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National Security

Snowden questions Putin's 'evasive' denial of mass surveillance

In a question and answer session run by Russia's state-run broadcaster earlier this week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked President Vladimir Putin whether his government intercepted, stored, or analyzed the communications of its citizens. Today, writing in The GuardianSnowden says he's not satisfied with Putin's "evasive" answer.

Snowden...

"There are serious inconsistencies in his denial." Edward Snowden
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  • Features

Norway's latest reality show is about birds in a coffee shop

What do you get when you build a bird house modeled after a coffee shop and stick a camera in front of it? The answer is NRK's Piip Show, a "reality show" that's unlike anything you've ever seen. The 24/7 online broadcast captures every moment as a variety of birds (and sometimes squirrels) stop for a breather and tussle over food that's...



Report

Facebook wants to find your nearby friends

Two years ago, a battle was raging over "people discovery" apps. Highlight wanted to introduce you to strangers on the street, Sonar hoped to connect you with friends of friends at a bar, and Glancee wanted to hook you up with nearby Tolkien fans. The ambient awareness technology behind all these apps was amazing, but people weren’t comfortable using them. Facebook acquired Glancee, and not a moment too soon. The people-discovery bubble was about to burst.

"We saw in the data that even...



MLB.TV is now streaming on Google's Chromecast

Starting today, you'll be able to watch America's pastime on Chromecast. MLB.TV now supports Google's $35 streaming stick, and fans can start casting games to the TV once the required updates for At Bat 2014 arrive on Android and iOS this...


Features

'Dream Sushi' and the art of the ringtone

It’s been years since ringtones were a multimillion-dollar industry, but the medium still has value for James Ferraro. As part of his exhibit for New York’s MoMA PS1 in Queens, 100%, the 25-year-old Los Angeles-based experimental musician composed a suite of 18 ringtones that he says are meant to evoke, the "aestheticization of capitalism." They’re all available for free download for Apple and Android phones on a lime-green website built and hosted by the museum.


The darknet just got its first black market search engine

The network of sites known as the darknet, only accessible through the anonymizing Tor browser, resembles the early internet in many ways — including being difficult to navigate. Most users get around by clicking from link to link, accessing pages like "The Hidden Wiki" that list popular site addresses, or typing long, complex URLs directly into the browser. Sites often change addresses as a cautionary measure, making them even more difficult to locate.

That makes it tough for customers...


Sonos is fixing its most frustrating issue

Sonos is planning to eliminate the most annoying part of its popular "wireless" music setup. Currently, if you've got Sonos speakers throughout the house, at least one of them needs to be plugged into your home router to achieve wireless playback...

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