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    The FTC is reportedly expanding its investigation into Android

    The FTC is reportedly expanding its investigation into Android

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    The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission has quietly stepped up its investigation into Android, over fears that Google is exploiting its position in the smartphone market.

    According to the Journal, the FTC has been meeting with companies to hear concerns about how Android's market share is being used — and possibly misused — against others. The initial probe began last year, and the timing now coincides with antitrust charges recently filed against Google in the European Union. The FTC is reportedly looking into similar complaints, such as whether Google is disadvantaging non-Google services on the operating system, and US regulators hope to mine the the EU case for more information.

    The FTC's probe may still never lead to legal action against Google. In 2013, facing charges from the FTC, the company largely avoided a regulatory crackdown by agreeing to make minor changes to its search practices.

    Today’s Storystream

    Feed refreshed 13 minutes ago 10 minutes in the clouds

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    Richard Lawler13 minutes ago
    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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    External Link
    Jess Weatherbed43 minutes ago
    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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    External Link
    Thomas RickerTwo hours ago
    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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    External Link
    Corin FaifeTwo hours ago
    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.


    Welcome to the new Verge

    Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

    Nilay PatelSep 13
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    External Link
    James Vincent8:41 AM UTC
    Shutterstock punts on AI-generated content.

    Earlier this week, Getty Images banned the sale of AI-generated content, citing legal concerns about copyright. Now, its biggest rival, Shutterstock, has responded by doing ... absolutely nothing. In a blog post, Shutterstock’s CEO Paul Hennessy says there are “open questions on the copyright, licensing, rights, and ownership of synthetic content and AI-generated art,” but doesn’t announce any policy changes. So, you can keep on selling AI art on Shutterstock, I guess.


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    Thomas Ricker6:58 AM UTC
    This custom Super73 makes me want to tongue-kiss an eagle.

    Super73’s tribute to mountain-biking pioneer Tom Ritchey has my inner American engorged with flag-waving desire. The “ZX Team” edition features a red, white, and blue colorway with custom components fitted throughout. Modern MTBers might scoff at the idea of doing any serious trail riding on a heavy Super73 e-bike, which is fine: this one-off is not for sale. 

    You can, however, buy the Super73 ZX it’s based on (read my review here), which proved to be a very capable all-terrain vehicle on asphalt, dirt, gravel, and amber fields of grain.


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    Richard Lawler12:25 AM UTC
    The sincerest form of flattery.

    I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.

    Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).


    DynamicSpot app on Android shown expanding music player, in the style of Apple’s Dynamic Island in iOS 16.
    DynamicSpot in action on a Google Pixel 6
    Image: Richard Lawler
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    TikTok
    Richard LawlerSep 22
    TikTok politics.

    Ahead of the midterm elections, TikTok made big changes to its rules for politicians and political fundraising on the platform, as Makena Kelly explains... on TikTok.


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    Richard LawlerSep 22
    The Twitter employee who testified about Trump and the January 6th attack has come forward.

    This summer, a former Twitter employee who worked on platform and content moderation policies testified anonymously before the congressional committee investigating the violence at the US Capitol on January 6th.

    While she remains under NDA and much of her testimony is still sealed,  Anika Collier Navaroli has identified herself, explaining a little about why she’s telling Congress her story of what happened inside Twitter — both before the attack, and after, when it banned Donald Trump.


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    Instagram
    Richard LawlerSep 22
    But how does it sound?

    Our review of Apple’s new AirPods Pro can tell you everything about the second-generation buds. To find out how you’ll sound talking to other people through them, just listen to Verge senior video producer Becca Farsace.


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    The Verge
    Andrew WebsterSep 22
    Our list of the best entertainment of 2022 keeps getting bigger.

    We just added some notable entries to our running list highlighting the best games, movies, and TV shows of the year, including Return to Monkey Island, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Sorry in advance for your free time.


    The best entertainment of 2022

    Everything to play and watch this year

    Andrew WebsterSep 22

    The best instant cameras you can buy right now

    We found the best cameras for your budget and needs

    Sheena VasaniSep 22
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    The Verge
    Richard LawlerSep 22
    The Bootleg Ratio.

    Policy Editor Russell Brandom digs into a phenomenon we’ve all seen on social media before:

    I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post.

    And now it’s coming for TikTok.


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    Twitter
    Russell BrandomSep 22
    The latest Alex Jones defamation hearing is not going well for Alex Jones.

    The Infowars host has already been hit with millions of dollars in damages for spreading lies about Sandy Hook — but today’s hearing suggests he could be on the hook for even more.


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    Youtube
    Dan SeifertSep 22
    Here’s a look at a few Pixel Watch watchfaces.

    Google is ramping up the marketing machine ahead of next month’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event and has released a short video (via 9to5Google) highlighting the design and showcasing some of the watchfaces it will have. Most of them are quite simple, with just the time being displayed.

    These videos always look great from a marketing perspective, but I think they poorly reflect how I actually use a smartwatch. I want the computer on my wrist to show me useful information like weather, calendar appointments, timers, etc, which means it’s never as sparse or simple looking as it is in these ads.


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    External Link
    Please stop trying to order the Hummer EV.

    GMC is closing the order books for the Hummer EV truck and SUV after receiving 90,000 reservations for the controversial electric vehicle, according to the Detroit Free Press. It just can’t seem to keep up with demand, so the GM-owned company has decided to stop taking orders until production picks up. Maybe if the Hummer’s battery wasn’t the same weight as a whole-ass Honda Civic, it would be easier to manufacture, but I digress.

    GMC is the latest automaker to run into the problem of EV demand far outstripping supply. Ford also is having difficulty making enough F-150 Lightnings and Mustang Mach-Es to fill all its orders. Waitlists for most available EVs are longer than my arm. Things are going to be tight until the auto industry is able to bring more battery factories and assembly plants online, and unfortunately that could take a while.


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    Alex CranzSep 22
    The Verge is hiring!

    The Verge is almost always hiring, and right now we’re looking for a big Verge fan with big journalism ambition to join us as a fellow for the next year. We’re also hiring a Space Reporter to join our Science team, a Designer to work with our Art team, and a Senior Editor focused on Search. Come apply to work with us!


    Fellow, The Verge

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