Today on The Verge: August 13th, 2012

We're trying something new today, bear with us — you'll notice this post isn't titled Verge Open Thread and wasn't posted in the morning. The new name and time-shift is to give you everyone a chance to talk about the news right after it happens, and not (what was essentially) a day later. As we've mentioned, we're always looking for ways to better connect with the readers, turn up the discussions, etc. So, sound off in the comment section and enjoy the ride!

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Ross Miller, Monday, August 13th, 2012

News from The Verge

Lenovo, Dell, and Samsung Windows RT tablets and laptops confirmed

Specifically, Lenovo, Dell, and Samsung have all been confirmed as Windows RT hardware partners — alongside Asus, of course.

Apple to start taking pre-orders for new iPhone September 12th, says iMore

According to iMore, Apple will begin taking US pre-orders for its next-generation iPhone on September 12th, the very same day the company is expected to unveil the product.

RIM confirms BlackBerry 10 'can be licensed' as it enters final stages of testing

Heins said that the company was looking at how it could be used by other companies, comparing it to BlackBerry 10's underlying QNX software, which is used by multiple industries.

A view of Mars: the incredible 360-degree panorama from Curiosity

Photographer Andrew Bodrov has stitched together images from NASA to create a Google Street View-esque version of the Red Planet. You can't virtually drive along the surface, of course, but there's no need to: you'll be completely awed by the vision the interactive picture provides.

President Obama calls the Curiosity team, promises to 'protect... critical investments in science and technology'

One week after the Curiosity Mars Rover successfully touched down on the red planet, President Obama placed a phone call to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to congratulate the team and pledge further support for their initiatives.

Disney Research wants to build more realistic replica human faces

Not only can this new process detect beards, stubble, and even eyebrows, but its algorithm can also determine what the skin underneath that hair looks like, and then recreate it.

Google's Motorola laying off 20 percent of its workforce as it focuses on a few good phones

Just months after Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, major restructuring is resulting in a 20 percent cut (about 4,000 people) of the phone maker's workforce, reports The New York Times.

Features, editorials, and reviews

Back to School: the best laptop for every budget

Will Nokia become collateral damage in Microsoft's battle with Apple?

Offline: how's it going?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review

New York's first sci-fi bookstore opens its doors, wants to save forgotten novels from cosmic oblivion

From the forums

The reserve tank

What is your favorite Microsoft advertisement?

Headphone advice

Show off your meteor shower pictures


Watch this: Gotye remixes fan-made videos in 'Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra'

GIF of the day