Today on The Verge, August 17, 2012


via Floating Prison of Eternal Ice, original image by owlwise12

Well, yesterday was quite a crazy day on The Verge — it's not every day a judge accuses an Apple attorney of "smoking crack" — though there was no thread to commemorate it. For this, we apologize, and hope that this thread serves as a kind shoulder to lean on as you navigate your way through the perils of the day. Yesterday's 90 Seconds on The Verge, as always, is an excellent jumping off point for catching up on Thursday's big news.

As for today, we're tweaking the format, yet again. We'll be updating this post all day with the freshest Verge content (and the best of what we find around the web), so keep it here all day long. Happy Friday, human beings.

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News from The Verge

Bing for Windows 8 arranges results in a touch-friendly grid, can be Snapped to the side

With Windows 8 now fully cooked and prepared for shipping, Microsoft is turning its attention to enlightening us on some of the more granular details of how the new operating system works, such as search.

Google enables smart updates in Play Store, reducing app download sizes

Google has enabled smart updates for apps in its Play Store, reports Android Police, reducing download sizes and times. Rather than downloading a whole new APK file for each app, devices now only download data unavailable in their existing versions, corresponding to changes and new functionality — a difference known as the delta.

Windows RT tablets could start at $300, according to Lenovo executive

Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets will cost $600 to $700, while Windows RT tablets with ARM mobile processors will be $200 to $300 cheaper, says Lenovo’s head of North American operations, David Schmoock.

Steve Jobs' stolen iPad ends up in street clown's routine

Last month the home of the late Steve Jobs was burglarized, and the perpetrator decided to give one of his stolen iPads to a friend — a friend who's also a clown.

Security researcher exposes a five-year-old SMS flaw in iOS

Security researcher and iOS hacker pod2g has detailed a "serious" security flaw affecting all iPhones that he says could facilitate hackers or thieves to access your personal information. The flaw involves a malicious party spoofing the "reply" to number, essentially forcing you to send an SMS to a different number than the one you initially intended.

HP creates Mobility division to focus on consumer tablets, hires Nokia's ex-MeeGo boss Alberto Torres to run it

We've just been tipped to a memo circulated internally by HP's Todd Bradley — who runs the company's recently-merged Printing and Personal Systems Group — announcing the creating of a new Mobility business unit underneath him that will be responsible for "consumer tablets" and "additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers." The news comes almost exactly one year since HP killed the TouchPad, effectively ending Palm's run as a hardware company and throwing webOS itself into an uncertain future as an open source platform.

Apple again displaying third-party podcast apps in desktop iTunes search

Apple ruffled some feathers earlier this week when it was discovered third-party apps were being left out of iTunes search results for "podcast" and "podcasts." Today those applications have thankfully returned, though the company still isn't talking about what caused them to be excluded in the first place.

OnLive reportedly hit with mass layoffs, company denies it's closing

Cloud-gaming company OnLive is rumored to have been hit with layoffs today, according to veteran video game developer Brian Fargo, who says he's received communication from a former employee warning of the company's demise.

Instagram Photo Map privacy bug appears for Android users, company quickly issues fix

Instagram's new Photo Map, which lets approved followers browse pictures by location, is letting Android users view private photos without being approved. As Cult of Mac reports, the iOS version doesn't show unapproved users the Photo Map for people with privacy settings turned on, but the Android version mistakenly allows users to bring up the geotagged map and exposes any photos that have been added to it. We've tested this for ourselves, and while the iOS app is working correctly, the Android app indeed shows the maps and photos of private users.

AT&T only allowing FaceTime over cellular on Mobile Share plans, no extra charge

AT&T has cleared the air this afternoon on its policies for FaceTime over cellular, saying that a Mobile Share plan will be required to use it — but it won't incur an extra charge apart from normal data usage. The feature, which is new in iOS 6, had caused controversy several weeks ago when it was revealed that beta builds appeared to block the service on AT&T's network by default, suggesting that the carrier might be looking to buck the tenets of net neutrality by tacking on an extra charge to enable it.

Features, reviews, editorials, and reports

Girl Talk goes Gumroad: a web payment startup woos pop stars — Ben Popper

As Sparrow fades away, few contenders for Mac mail crown — Ellis Hamburger

What is a nerd? — Adi Robertson

DEF CON XX: twenty years of hacker evolution — Jesse Hicks

Susan Kare returns to the stand: Samsung's designs were a choice, 'not a requirement' — Bryan Bishop

From the Forums

What will it take for you to switch to Windows Phone 8?

My ideas for the next iPod touch and iPod nano

Share your first experience with Google Wallet

Pulp, low-brow and other guilty pleasures

GIF of the day



Around the web

The Curiosity Rover:


The pretty new web and the future of "native" advertising — by Choire Sicha at The Awl

It's really interesting that these "sites" want their appearance for users to be visually unified, and it's also extremely telling that these "sites" are overtly rejecting display advertising.