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The Verge
“Your honor, Epic rests.”

Epic v. Google won’t be over for a bit yet, as we’ll come back December 11th for closing arguments and jury instructions before the verdict. But the evidence is all in. Both Epic and Google have rested their cases. See you the week after next!

Microsoft Copilot is now generally available.

Copilot, the AI chatbot formerly known as Bing Chat, is out of preview. That means Copilot is now available in 105 languages and 169 countries “on all modern browsers for mobile and web,” according to Caitlin Roulston, the director of communications at Microsoft.

Even though the preview label is going away today, Roulston says Microsoft will continue to “launch new features in preview while we iterate, listen to feedback, and improve the experience for our users.”

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Phil Spencer says Microsoft spends more than $1 billion per year to bring third-party games to Xbox Game Pass.

From an interview with Windows Central:

We have a service that is financially viable, meaning it makes money, in Game Pass. We’ve put a lot of money into the market, over a billion dollars a year supporting third-party games coming into Game Pass.

Spencer also says that the company “has no plans to bring Game Pass to PlayStation or Nintendo;” earlier this week, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said that Microsoft is interested in bringing Game Pass to “every screen that can play games” including “what we would have thought of as competitors in the past like PlayStation and Nintendo,” as reported by GameSpot.

Windows Central’s full interview with Spencer is worth reading, if you have a few minutes.

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Production on The Last of Us’ second season starts in February.

Showrunner Craig Mazin said in a Variety panel that production begins on February 12th. The date’s not a total surprise, as HBO and Max content chief Casey Bloys recently said that production would start in early 2024, but now we know exactly when it starts.

Now we just need to know who is going to play Abby. Hopefully we’ll find out soon, given that the role has apparently already been cast.

Today on The Vergecast: Cybertruck details, billionaire drama, and digital gods.

Somehow, even after the Cybertruck launched, we still don’t know how many wipers it has. But we do know a lot more about it, including how to open the door! We also kinda sorta got some closure on the OpenAI drama, but as always the CEOs are still out here saying some wild stuff on stage and on the internet. Thank goodness we have a podcast where we get to loudly ask the digital gods: why?

Halo Infinite is getting a trailer for something on Monday.

The new trailer debuts on December 4th at 12PM ET, according to a post on X. I’m hopeful it’s something big, but given that the image is styled almost exactly like Rockstar’s GTA VI trailer announcement and Fall Guys’ subsequent trailer announcement, maybe Microsoft is just getting in on the memes.

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Google agrees to pay $27 million to settle a seven-year-old labor complaint.

In 2016, an employee sued Google for having too strict of a confidentiality program, which allegedly discouraged workers from reporting illegal activity in violation of California’s labor laws.

Google’s decision to settle means the majority of the $27 million will go to the state of California, while employees will get anywhere from $20 to $70, according to Semafor. A Google spokesperson tells the publication “that resolution of the matter, without any admission of wrongdoing, is in the best interest of everyone.”

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Godzilla Minus One’s a gorgeous nightmare you can’t wake up from.

We’re all used to seeing Godzilla lay waste to entire cities with a swish of his tail, but one of the most startling things about Godzilla Minus One (and the film’s final trailer) is the way director Takashi Yamazaki manages to perfectly capture and convey the idea of the kaiju king absolutely wrecking people’s minds as well as their surroundings.

Godzilla Minus One is a brilliant reckoning for the king of monster allegories

Toho’s latest Godzilla film from writer / director Takashi Yamazaki takes the kaiju king back to its roots to tell a sobering story about reckoning with the present.

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If you’ve wanted to use an Android phone as a webcam on Windows, that might be getting easier soon.

Android Authority reports that there’s code in the Microsoft Phone Link app that “suggests that the company is working on letting your Android phone provide a video stream to your Windows PC.” Sounds handy — and potentially like a Windows-ified version of Apple’s Continuity Camera feature.

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Bing Bong!

A Baldur’s Gate 3 character is now canon. Which sounds weird right? If they’re in Baldur’s Gate 3 wouldn’t they automatically be canon? But this character actually started in Dungeons and Dragons campaign played by the Baldur’s Gate 3 voice actors (all playing in character).

The lil imp Bing Bong is joined the game officially as part of the huge patch that just dropped earlier this week. First new armor and a new epilogue, and now Bing Bong? Larian Studios is really spoiling BG3 players.

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Now that the Cybertruck has been revealed, “let's see how Earth responds to that.”

As Elon said during his DealBook interview earlier in the week. A peek at the r/Cybertruck subreddit finds that while some people are excited about the new EV, and are already preparing to drag race Porsche 911s while towing another Porsche 911, the Cybertruck event didn’t go over well with everyone:

You either throw the steel ball or you don’t bring it up at all. There’s no middle ground you just made a 2nd meme.

I wouldn’t mind a rational price increase but underdelivering on every other aspect - especially range…. Hell nah

Used to the awkward presentations, but being so light on the details like not even mentioning bi-directional and kicking the dual and beast up $30k, just totally wtf.

Maybe I’m dramatic, but I’ve been looking forward to this for almost half a decade, and now it’s unobtainable to me in price. I feel like a dream got crushed.

Baldur’s Gate 3 was, unsurprisingly, the most-played Steam Deck title last month.

BG3 has been the most popular Steam Deck title since August, and now it’s topping the charts once again. Sitting in second and third place are Cyberpunk 2077 and Diablo IV, both of which have also become regulars on the top 20 list.

Roblox’s chatbot assistant for developers is available now in beta.

The Assistant, which Roblox recently showed off at its 2023 Roblox Developers Conference, can answer questions, insert scripts, explain code, and generate materials for in-game assets, according to a post on Roblox’s developer forums.

Many game studios are experimenting with AI tools for making games, but some developers worry about how the tools could affect their jobs. Roblox seems very invested in AI; CEO David Baszucki has said the company is aiming for Westworld-like ease of design with its generative AI tools.

A screenshot of the Roblox Assistant’s material generation feature.
The Roblox Assistant’s material generation feature.
Image: Roblox

The Verge’s 2023 holiday gift guide

A selection of great tech and non-tech gifts aimed at the tinkerer, the creative, and the kid in all of us.

An inside look at Apple’s chip-testing labs.

This video from CNBC offers a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities where Apple tests its M-series chips for Macs and the A-series chips for iPhones. You can see the labs at around 3:21 and 7:05.

Aside from that, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware, also hints at the possibility of the company developing its own modems, stating “We care about cellular and we have teams enabling that.”

Fortnite had a good November.

Epic Games said Friday that the game had 100 million players in November, which apparently broke a record. The Fortnite OG season, which has taken the game back to the Chapter 1 island, also broke a Fortnite player record on its first day.

The OG season is set to end on Saturday with a “Big Bang” event featuring Eminem. The game’s next season might add Peter Griffin and Solid Snake.

How much does the Cybertruck really cost?

Tesla has a TON of new accessories for its all-new Cybertruck — camp equipment, snow tires, truck stuff, this $55 decal of a broken window — so I was curious how much a top-trim truck (the tri-motor Cyberbeast version) with all the bells and whistles would cost. Because I assume true Tesla fans are going to want to support their favorite struggling billionaire.

The grand total, including all the accessories and Full Self-Driving, comes out to an eye-watering $126,860. That’s even more than the Hummer EV! And about double the average transaction price for a new truck in the US, according to Edmunds. Cyber-gulp!

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Did you know Drake purchased an amusement park?

The theme park / immersive art exhibition (yes, you read that right) is a real thing, and the Los Angeles Times has a great story about it with some really cool photos. It will apparently open sometime this winter.

The Verge
Epic v. Google day 15 began with Apple.

I’m half an hour late to court, I’m afraid, due to a BART train delay (and me missing BART’s make-up transfer point by one stop), but I’m here, listening to Apple’s Carson Oliver, a senior director of business management for the App Store on iOS.

He’s Google’s witness, and Google’s wrapping up questioning with him. The part I caught when I came in was mostly background on the fees Apple charges and why, but... see my next QP:

The Verge
100 more cities and local governments call for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.

They join some 12,500 mayors and city governments including Paris, Kolkota, London, Los Angeles, Lima, and Sydney that have endorsed the creation of such a treaty. This latest push comes during a United Nations climate conference in Dubai where delegates are debating a possible deal to phase out fossil fuels.

Interview: Sam Altman on being fired and rehired by OpenAI

“I totally get why people want an answer right now. But I also think it’s totally unreasonable to expect it.”

Talking shit about cameras is best done over drinks.

PetaPixel’s Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake are once again recapping the year’s best and worst cameras over made-up drinking games. This is my favorite annual camera nerd tradition, and it’s now running 10 years (and three YouTube channels).

No spoilers, but I’m here to say the Nikon Zf was shunned — and after 10 years Chris’s excellent hair is aging better than his alcohol tolerance.

Who needs the Cybertruck when you can have Cyberpunk... transit?

Cyberpunk 2077 is getting a full metro system with Update 2.1, which is set to release on December 5th. It looks like a fun way to get around Night City if you don’t want to fast travel or walk. The 2.1 update also brings a feature that lets you listen to radio outside of a vehicle, “new hangouts with romantic partners,” repayable car chases, and some new accessibility features.

Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition, the physical versions of the game for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X / S, will be available the same day as the new update.

A screenshot from Cyberpunk 2077.


Image: CD Projekt Red
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“After all, we’re the libraries.”

Duke University Libraries have decided to drop their use of Basecamp, after reconsidering various blog posts by co-founder David Heinemier Hansson in which he decries the push for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Duke’s post about it is clear-eyed and crisp, and worth reading:

So when we encounter a tech company boss who takes in a nationwide movement of organized protest against police brutalization and systemic racism, led by Black activists, and amplifies the rare incidents of violence, much of it instigated by the police or right-wing counter protestors, using the mendacious language of extremists to refer to it as “riots,” we have a good idea what we’re looking at.

When we enter into business with a company whose boss takes delight in the mass layoffs of tech workers because it disempowers those who might speak out against their company keeping a list of non-Anglophone names that some members of the team find hilarious, we have a decent sense of who we’re dealing with.

You can choose to spend your time and money however you want, it turns out — a lesson that more and more Twitter-pilled CEOs are learning the hard way.

You can sacrifice almost half of Cybertruck’s bed space for more batteries.

Tesla’s Cybertruck site is introducing an upcoming “Range Extender” option that claims will give the pickup truck up to 470-plus miles of range. The storage-eating hump it leaves reminds me of early compliance EVs.

The automaker blinked on its 2019 promise of a 500-mile Cybertruck at the delivery event yesterday. Instead, Tesla’s highest range is just 340 miles on the new AWD model.

Extend your adventure, go even further with a range extender installed into cybertruck’s bed
You’ll need to get this installed by Tesla, it seems.
Image: Tesla
Peter Griffin and Solid Snake in Fortnite?

Those are two names I’d never thought I’d see together, but a leaked image of the Chapter 5 battle pass suggests Peter Griffin and Snake will both be available as skins.

Tomorrow, December 2nd, Eminem will send off the Fortnite OG chapter with an appearance during The Big Bang event at 2PM ET.

ChatGPT is winning the future — but what future is that?

OpenAI didn’t mean to kickstart a generational shift in the technology industry. But it did. Now all we have to decide is where to go from here.

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X is turning to small to medium-sized businesses to offset the advertising exodus.

After Elon Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic post led Apple, Disney, IBM, and other major companies to pull advertising from the platform, now an X spokesperson tells the Financial Times it will target smaller businesses instead:

‘Small and medium businesses are a very significant engine that we have definitely underplayed for a long time,’ the company told the Financial Times. ‘It [was] always part of the plan — now we will go even further with it.’

Musk had some choice words for the advertisers who fled the platform during NYT’s DealBook event on Wednesday and said their boycott will “kill” the company.

This Cybertruck can haul two kids for 12 miles on a single charge.

Specifically, we’re talking about the $1,500 kids version now on sale following the Cybertruck delivery event yesterday. It has a max speed of 10mph from a 500W motor, with a 5mph limit option. It features adjustable seats to accommodate 6 to 12-year-olds, air-filled rubber tires, and a 22-volt battery.

It’s a decent companion to the (previously recalled) Tesla Cyberquad for kids ATV, although don’t expect to store one on top of the Cybertruck version.


Image: Tesla
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Brazilian legislators weren’t aware they passed a law written by ChatGPT.

The city of Porto Alegre passed an ordinance that prevents folks whose water meters were stolen from being charged. Sounds benign, but city councilman Ramiro Rosário told AP that he didn’t disclose the fact he’d used ChatGPT to write the law until after it went into effect. According to Rosário, he intentionally kept it secret and hoped to “spark debate.”

Rosário also told g1 he chose a simple and uncontroversial topic for his experiment. Even so, it’s an unsettling precedent given that chatbots are known to introduce factual errors.