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Today’s Storystream

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It’s Thursday, so of course Pokémon scalpers are ruining things for everybody.

The Pokémon Company tried to make the perks (read: promo cards and merch) from its collaboration with the Van Gogh museum to be accessible to everyone. But it seems like scalpers have been swarming the exhibit in Amsterdam to snatch up cards, and forcing the museum to change its sales policy for the exclusive goodies. Good job, folks.

Say it with me: AI VR legs.

Remember the whole microscandal about Zuck’s VR legs?

Well... Meta is now using “machine learning models that are trained on large data sets of people” to let developers give you generative AI legs in the Meta Quest 3.

More new dev toys here.

You could say this tech has legs.
You could say this tech has legs.
Image: Meta; GIF by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Mark Zuckerberg on Threads, the future of AI, and Quest 3

In a rare interview, Meta’s CEO dives into where AI is going next, the new Quest 3 headset, and his ongoing rivalry with Elon Musk.

The Superb OWL Grand Finals tournament is live.

What is likely the last Overwatch League Finals tournament has just begun. This year, eight teams will participate in a double elimination bracket live in Toronto to decide this year’s champions.

This year, the Atlanta Reign are likely to take the trophy making them the first (and probably only) expansion team to win the championship. Hopefully, the Grand Finals match will send the League off with a bang and not a whimper.

Monarch Tractor wants to become “the Android of agriculture.”

Hear CEO Praveen Penmetsa talk about it in this clip from Code 2023. (It’s more interesting than it seems!) And read more from the event in our storystream.

The Code Conference 2023: all the news as it happens

Live coverage from the Code Conference, featuring interviews with X CEO Linda Yaccarino, AMD CEO Lisa Su, and more.

This AI robot gave me a manicure.

I gave Clockwork’s manicure robot a try at the Code Conference. After I picked out a nail polish color, it took about 10 minutes to walk out with a fresh manicure.

Clockwork doesn’t file or shape your nails — it just paints one coat of polish, using AI to identify where to paint.

I don’t see this replacing the nail salon experience, but it could be helpful if you’re in a pinch and need something quick. So far, my polish is holding up pretty well. Clockwork is currently available at these locations and costs $10. 

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Apple also wants the Supreme Court to rule on its antitrust case vs. Epic Games.

Yesterday, Epic Games filed a request for the Supreme Court to review lower court rulings in their lawsuit over Apple’s App Store rules, hoping to get a new interpretation that’s more in their favor,

Now, on Thursday, Apple submitted its own request, linked below, seeking a review to throw out the judge’s requirement that it change App Store rules barring developers from telling users about other payment options.

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Medium is the latest site to block AI training.

In a blog post, Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine announced that the site will block AI companies from using its posts to train AI models. Like The New York Times, Reuters, CNN, and other outlets, Medium has also rolled out a site-wide block on OpenAI’s GPTbot, a crawler that scrapes websites for data.

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A crucial Tesla Autopilot lawsuit starts today.

The family of a Tesla Model 3 owner who died in a fiery crash is suing the company, alleging that Tesla knowingly sold a product it knew to be defective. That product is Autopilot, the advanced driver assist system that is at the core of Tesla’s efforts to make a fully autonomous vehicle. The Washington Post spoke to legal experts about why this trial is so important:

“For Tesla to continue to get its technology on the road, it is going to have to be successful in these cases,” said Ed Walters, who teaches autonomous vehicle law at Georgetown University. “If it faces a lot of liability from accidents … it is going to be very hard for Tesla to continue getting this tech out.”

Among Us for PS VR2.

Among Us VR adds to the growing library of games available to PlayStation’s next-gen VR system, which includes No Man’s Sky, Beat Saber, Resident Evil Village, and a lot more.

Yoel Roth and Linda Yaccarino made the end of Code... interesting, to say the least.

Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, was a late add to the agenda, and that meant two of the last sessions of the event were a kind of meta conversation about Twitter’s past and X’s future.

Catch clips of both interviews and some of my thoughts in our video recapping the interviews, and you can read more real-time thoughts in our storystream. If you want to watch the interviews yourself, virtual passes are available here right now.

The Verge
Google is opening up its generative AI-powered search to teens.

Beginning “this week,” Google says that teens in the US that are using a Google account will be able to access the company’s Search Generative Experience through Search Labs. It’s also adding an “about this result” tool for SGE and making improvements to help its AI models detect and deal with searches with a “false or offensive premise.”

Since the product’s launch in May, Google has been steadily adding features and improvements.

Pool meets golf?

Martin Jonassan, the developer behind games like Holedown and Rymdkapsel, just announced his next project. It’s called Subpar Pool, and it looks like a combination of pool and golf, but with procedurally-generated levels and some cute little blobs. It launches October 12th on mobile, Steam, and the Switch.

Shure simplified its iconic SM7b.

With the new $499 SM7dB (kinda punny), Shure adds an integrated preamp to the classic radio microphone to bring its audio signal up to proper recording levels right out of the gate. This will help out podcasters and traveling audio engineers who typically have to use a Cloudlifter box whenever they want the SM7b sound.

Although it’s a good option, newer consumer audio interfaces boast the preamps’ ability to provide enough signal boost to these mics anyway.

view of the back side of the Shure SM7db, showing some controls switching on the integrated pre-amp.
The new Shure SM7dB
Image: Shure

All the news from Meta Connect 2023

Meta Connect, the company’s annual conference, is back for 2023. It’s bringing a lot more details about the Meta Quest 3, the successor to Quest 2.

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Spidey’s accessibility features.

We already knew that the upcoming PS5 game Spider-Man 2 was getting clever features like the ability to slow down the action, but now Sony has released a more detailed list of the accessibility options players can expect. This kind of focus on accessibility has become a welcome trend for big PlayStation releases — and looks like it will continue when Spider-Man 2 launches on October 20th.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses hands-on: in pursuit of content

Unlike the original, I kind of see where Meta’s going with its second-gen smart glasses.

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A tabletop gaming company is suing Netflix for breach of contract.

Netflix hired Evil Genius to make a tabletop RPG based on Zack Snyder’s upcoming Rebel Moon, but now a lawsuit claims the streamer unfairly canceled the project over an alleged breach of its confidentiality agreement.

As reported by Gizmodo, Evil Genius Games claims the game — along with a 430-page player’s guide and a 337-page game master’s guide — was nearly finished when Netflix pulled the plug. Evil Genius is suing Netflix to receive compensation for its work and to release the game.

You’re gonna have to wait to get Wyrd.

Hellboy Web of Wryd, a rogue-lite brawler starring a devil with the meanest right hook and voiced by the late and seriously great Lance Reddick, has been delayed two weeks, pushing its release date from October 4th to October 18th.

October is already a ridiculous month for video game launches and this delay lands Web of Wyrd in the same company as Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Sonic Superstars, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get around to it sometime in late 2025.

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A fun way to support video game preservation.

The Video Game History Foundation does great work when it comes to preserving the history of the medium, and now the institute is offering a unique way for people to show support. Right now on GOG you can purchase a “supporter pack” filled with all kinds of rare art and promotional materials for franchises like Yakuza and The Elder Scrolls, with proceeds going towards the VGHF.

Check out this interview for more on the work they’re doing.

Dead AirPods case battery? This mod could help.

Even though Apple has officially switched to USB-C, modder Ken Pillonel (who made headlines modding the port into the iPhone and AirPods) thinks there are still improvements to be made. He’s designed a replacement outer shell for the first- and second-generation AirPods case that’s designed to make it easier to open for battery replacements. He’s giving away the part for free (minus shipping) throughout October.