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Vergecast: Galaxy S21 Ultra review and Paramount Plus launch announced

Vergecast: Galaxy S21 Ultra review and Paramount Plus launch announced

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This week’s news roundup podcast

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There are five cameras on the S21 Ultra, plus a laser autofocus sensor on the back
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

This week on The Verge’s flagship podcast The Vergecast, The Verge’s own Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, Julia Alexander, and Chaim Gartenberg run through the news, reviews, and rumors in the world of tech this week.

Dieter published his review of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra on Thursday, so The Vergecast discusses the updates and fixes in this iteration of the flagship phone. Has Samsung redeemed itself from the S20 Ultra?

Second half of the show, there were a bunch of Apple rumors this week — reports of the company planning a Mac redesign, a foldable phone, and a VR headset — so the crew theorizes what these products could look like, what their function could be, and when these would actually be available.

The show wraps up with some updates to the streaming wars: ViacomCBS’s new rebranded streaming service Paramount Plus now has a launch date for March 4th. Julia Alexander details what shows and movies we’ll see on the service and how well it could handle in an already competitive market.

Listen to the full discussion here or in your preferred podcast player.

Stories discussed in episode:

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Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

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Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


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Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


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Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


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Nilay PatelSep 13
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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


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Tom WarrenSep 23
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.