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The Weekender: boosting cars, crashing beaches, and building costumes for cosplay

The Weekender: boosting cars, crashing beaches, and building costumes for cosplay

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The best of the week gone by

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Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Every Saturday, we'll bring you some of the best and most important reads of the past seven days, from original reports, to in-depth features, to reviews and interviews. Think of it as a collection of some of our favorite pieces that you may have missed — or that you may just want to read again. You can follow along below, or keep up to date on Flipboard.

  • Review

    Google Nexus 7 review (2013)

    Google’s back for a second try at a 7-inch tablet, and this time around it may have nailed it. The Nexus 7 is priced right, has an amazing display, and is smaller than ever — but the big question is, is it enough to beat out the iPad mini?

  • Report

    How Google accidentally uncovered a Chinese ring of car thieves

    Google is constantly scouring its ad network for signs of fraud, but human eyes can’t catch everything. It took a smart machine and a little bit of investigation for the team to bust an unlikely scam that took place largely offline.

  • Feature

    David Geffen's beach is yours: crash Malibu's secret oceanside hotspots with your iPhone

    Private properties bump right up against the ocean in Malibu, but a lot of those beaches are still open to the public. Now a new app wants to arm beachgoers with the knowledge they need to fend off unruly private security who would keep them from the best spots on the coast.

  • Review

    Nokia Lumia 1020 review

    Nokia hasn’t changed much between the Lumia 920 — its last major flagship for AT&T — and the Lumia 1020, except for one big thing: it added a massive, high-resolution camera hanging off the back. Is that enough to pull this Windows Phone ahead of the iOS and Android competition?

  • Report

    Being Spider Girl: a day at Comic-Con with a master of make-believe

    Some people make a career out of dressing up, and Comic-Con is their event of the year. But for those who can’t make the money flow in, cosplay becomes an art of passion more than anything else.

  • Report

    Watch men: what hardcore timepiece collectors think about smartwatches

    Smartwatches are coming, but luxury watch makers have little reason to be worried: for a small sect of diehard collectors, ornate mechanisms and classic designs may still matter above all else.

  • Interview

    How murderers tell stories: director Joshua Oppenheimer on 'The Act of Killing'

    The Act of Killing documents the Indonesian army’s systematic killings during the fall of 1965 by having the killers reenact their actions. We spoke with the film’s director about the power of movies, the stories we tell ourselves, and the nature of evil.

  • Report

    Despair is a game in 'Gods Will Be Watching'

    The original Gods Will Be Watching came out of a three-day-long game jam and resulted in a cruel sci-fi puzzler where your characters just couldn’t make it out alive. Now after a successful Kickstarter, the team wants to supersize the game with all new ways to stress out its players.

  • Review

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and 10.1 review

    Samsung just released two new Android tablets. They’re both running the latest version of the OS, are nice and thin, and include a handful of the wild features found on the Galaxy S4 — but after testing them, we’re left wondering why Samsung made them in the first place.

  • Report

    As police crack down on pirate radio, broadcasters resist the move online

    New York is cracking down on illegal radio stations with laws that can make getting caught translate into jail time. But radio culture has become embedded in many of the ethnic communities throughout Brooklyn, and sending broadcasts online just won’t be the same.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago 10 minutes in the clouds

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Twitter
Jay PetersTwo hours ago
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


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Twitter
Tom Warren8:44 PM UTC
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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Andrew J. Hawkins7:23 PM UTC
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
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External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins6:11 PM UTC
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


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Elizabeth Lopatto5:52 PM UTC
Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


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External Link
Jay Peters4:28 PM UTC
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


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Elizabeth Lopatto4:21 PM UTC
Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.


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Youtube
James Vincent2:50 PM UTC
Nvidia’s latest AI model generates endless 3D models.

Need to fill your video game, VR world, or project render with 3D chaff? Nvidia’s latest AI model could help. Trained on 2D images, it can churn out customizable 3D objects ready to import and tweak.

The model seems rudimentary (the renders aren’t amazing quality and seem limited in their variety), but generative AI models like this are only going to improve, speeding up work for all sorts of creative types.


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Richard Lawler1:02 PM UTC
Green light.

This week Friday brings the debut of Apple’s other new hardware. We’ve reviewed both the new AirPods Pro and this chonky Apple Watch Ultra, and now you’ll decide if you’re picking them up, or not.

Otherwise, we’re preparing for Netflix’s Tudum event this weekend and slapping Dynamic Island onto Android phones.


The Apple Watch Ultra on a woman’s wrist
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
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Jess Weatherbed12:31 PM UTC
Japan will fully reopen to tourists in October following two and a half years of travel restrictions.

Good news for folks who have been waiting to book their dream Tokyo vacation: Japan will finally relax Covid border control measures for visa-free travel and individual travelers on October 11th.

Tourists will still need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, but can take advantage of the weak yen and a ‘national travel discount’ launching on the same date. Sugoi!


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Thomas Ricker11:00 AM UTC
Sony starts selling the Xperia 1 IV with continuous zoom lens.

What does it cost to buy a smartphone that does something no smartphone from Apple, Google, Samsung can? $1,599.99 is Sony’s answer: for a camera lens that can shift its focal length anywhere between 85mm and 125mm.

Here’s Allison’s take on Sony’s continuous-zoom lens when she tested a prototype Xperia 1 IV back in May: 

Sony put a good point-and-shoot zoom in a smartphone. That’s an impressive feat. In practical use, it’s a bit less impressive. It’s essentially two lenses that serve the same function: portrait photography. The fact that there’s optical zoom connecting them doesn’t make them much more versatile.

Still, it is a Sony, and like.no.other.


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Corin Faife10:44 AM UTC
If God sees everything, so do these apps.

Some Churches are asking congregants to install so-called “accountability apps” to prevent sinful behavior. A Wired investigation found that they monitor almost everything a user does on their phone, including taking regular screenshots and flagging LGBT search terms.