First Click: Ninja cats, rats, and a look at the week ahead

September 14th, 2015

Look, we understand your weekends are precious. Between the return of the NFL regular season play and the premiere of M. Night Shyamalan’s very entertaining film The Visit, there was plenty to keep your brain entertained.

This week we’ve got the Frankfurt Auto Show and Tokyo Game Show on deck before the big Emmy Awards on Saturday night. We’ve also got an iOS 9 review coming for you any day now.

But first let’s catch up on all the news and Verge weirdness you might have missed, shall we?



  1. Google hires ex-Hyundai America CEO to lead self-driving car project

    Google has hired a new CEO for its self-driving car project. John Krafcik, who worked at Ford and was President and CEO of Hyundai's American operations before joining automotive price-comparison site TrueCar, will take the position in late September. In a statement, the veteran of the automobile industry said that Google's technology "can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility, and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today."

  2. Nintendo's new president is Tatsumi Kimishima

    Nintendo has appointed Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president following Satoru Iwata's death in July. Kimishima, 65, was most recently the company's managing director and the head of human resources, and previously served as CEO of Nintendo's American arm until Iwata assumed those responsibilities in 2013. His association with Nintendo began when he was hired as CFO of The Pokémon Company in 2000; before that, he worked at what is now The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest bank, for 27 years.

  3. Microsoft celebrates Super Mario Bros with a ninja cat easter egg

    Yesterday marked 30 years since the release of Super Mario Bros. on the NES, a milestone that led to the 13th of September being marked as "8-bit Day." Nintendo celebrated the event in its own fashion, but the Japanese company wasn't the only console creator to celebrate the occasion. Microsoft created its own easter egg for 8-bit Day, rewarding people who entered the famous Konami code on its homepage with a slice of video game history, a cute little message from the company, and a pixelated version of Microsoft's ninja cat riding its T. Rex steed.

  4. The Verge Review of Animals: the rat

    I cannot ignore the risk that rats pose to us, but because human beings largely enhance that risk with their own behavior, the rat must largely be forgiven. Furthermore, rats have (unwillingly) served us, especially in the last century, in scientific experiments that often lead to their deaths while helping human beings preserve their own lives. If thriving in the face of suffering and persecution is noble, then members of the genus Rattus may be the most noble among us. 8/10.

  5. Verge Fiction: The Date

    Me: I'm here. At the bar. Marcus: Almost in! Don't order yet, I'll beer you. Me: chivalry = not dead

  6. Burning Man is so anti-capitalist it's threatening to sue Quiznos for mocking the festival

    Take Burning Man, the annual, drug-addled, desert hippie festival that was formed on tenets of self-reliance and anti-capitalism. Add a brilliantly-executed parody video (sponsored by the Quiznos sandwich chain, no less) that skewers the whole affair for getting overrun by corporate influence and rich Silicon Valley types. What do you get? A lawsuit, apparently.

  7. New aluminum alloy isn't to blame for iPhone 6S weight gain

    You might notice something's a little different the first time you pick up an iPhone 6S. It's heavier than the iPhone 6. Not massively so, but it's not insignificant, either: both the 6S and the 6S Plus weigh about 11 percent more than last year's models, respectively. But where does the extra heft come from? You might suspect that the stronger, aerospace-grade aluminum alloy used in the 6S is to blame, but you'd be wrong.

  8. You just can't kill Lisbeth Salander

    The latest Dragon Tattoo book is unabashedly a piece of licensed, commissioned professional fan-fiction, which kind of makes it a comic book.

  9. See a new, full view of Pluto in high resolution

    Just a few short months ago we had almost no idea what Pluto really looked like. These days we’re looking at it unprecedented detail, thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft's successful flyby in July. The team that operates New Horizons recently started the year-long download of the remainder of the spacecraft's data, and the early returns are phenomenal. Case in point — yesterday afternoon, the New Horizons team uploaded almost 40 new high-resolution images of the dwarf planet to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory website.

  10. Ask Stoya: Why's there so much incest porn?

    One person’s yum is someone else’s yuck, and their squick is another person’s squee. Sexual interests and the reasons for an individual’s interest in a specific thing vary to an incredible degree so generalized guesses at motivations can be both tricky and sloppy, but I’m going to give it a try anyway.

Game of the day