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Monday’s top tech news: Twitter’s third-party client ban seems like no accident

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Although Twitter is yet to issue an official statement on why most major third-party clients broke last week, it increasingly seems as though the outage is intentional. The Information reported over the weekend that the outage is no accident, meaning Twitter has effectively just kneecapped several apps designed to help people use its service without having the decency to let their developers know. I think John Gruber says it best when he calls this behavior “absurdly disrespectful.

ICYMI, my colleague Alex Heath wrote up an interesting analysis piece about who in the world could actually be brought in to lead Twitter if and when Elon Musk steps down as CEO.

In gadget news, Samsung is reportedly developing a new hinge design for its fifth-generation Galaxy Fold device (due to be announced later this summer) that could decrease its visible screen crease when unfolded. I’m generally of the opinion that display creases aren’t particularly visible when you’re actually using existing foldables, but making them less visible should help the devices feel more premium.

For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day.

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Monday, January 16th, 2023.
  • Here's the full trailer for season three of The Mandalorian.

    Pedro Pascal already had one major premiere over the weekend as The Last of Us started airing on HBO / HBO Max.

    Now Disney Plus has released a full trailer (following an earlier teaser full of some familiar faces) for the next season of The Mandalorian. Season three will debut March 1st.

  • Netflix just got a flashy redesign on the iPhone.

    Check out this video from Janum Trivedi, formerly a senior software engineer at Netflix, as he demonstrates the streaming service’s revamped iOS app that rolled out today — and that he had a hand in making. The new UI is so fluid. So responsive. So… bouncy? Yeah, maybe even “delightful.”

    If only Netflix would show similar love to the stagnant Apple TV app.

    Trivedi now works on the team behind the promising new Arc browser.

  • Emma Roth

    Jan 16

    Emma Roth

    Amazon reportedly plans to part ways with Jeremy Clarkson.

    According to Variety, Prime Video may no longer work with the Top Gear presenter after he made hateful comments about Meghan Markle in a column in The Sun. The company may still carry out seasons of The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm that have already been ordered, however.

  • Emma Roth

    Jan 16

    Emma Roth

    Apple announcement incoming.

    Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple’s gearing up for a new product announcement tomorrow. Could it (finally) be the M2-equipped 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros?

  • Emma Roth

    Jan 16

    Emma Roth

    Laid-off Twitter workers must drop class-action severance lawsuit, judge says

    Illustration of a black Twitter bird in front of a red and white background.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    A judge has ordered a group of laid-off Twitter employees to drop their class action lawsuit against the company, which accuses Twitter of not following through on its promised severance pay package, as reported earlier by Bloomberg and Reuters. In a ruling on Friday, US District Judge James Donato states that the workers must make their case in private arbitration instead, citing the employment contract they signed with Twitter.

    According to the ruling, Twitter’s contract “expressly” states that arbitration isn’t mandatory, and also provides an option for employees to opt out of the procedure. The judge says employees failed to opt out of arbitration, which would’ve given them a chance to settle things in court. Twitter’s contract also contained a class action waiver, the ruling notes.

    Read Article >
  • When it rains Samsung leaks, it pours.

    Samsung leaks always become a deluge once they get started. After leaked images allegedly showed us the upcoming Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra, WinFuture now has some fresh images that purport to show some S23 cases. Shockingly, they look like phone cases. Though, I’ll admit, I dig that the nifty folio with a cutout for notifications is now a mini-wallet too.

  • The lightning rods of the future may be giant freakin’ laser beams.

    Here’s an interesting read from The Wall Street Journal. Scientists are testing if large laser pulses can cause anticipated lightning strikes to land safely away from people and sensitive infrastructure — like airports. The technology tested atop a Swiss mountain is showing promise, even if it may be a way’s off.

  • Netflix streaming turns 16 today, which explains its non-committal temperament

    An illustration of the Netflix logo.
    Way back before the tudum sound, it was just the sweet sweet sound of a disc spinning up.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Netflix streaming is getting into its angsty teenage years, as today marks 16 years since it launched its streaming services. It’s easy to forget what things were like before the age of streaming, but a decade-and-a-half ago, if you had a Netflix subscription, that meant paying a monthly subscription for a rotation of DVDs mailed to your door.

    But while things are vastly different today, and Netflix has grown into a juggernaut in the entertainment world, the chatter even then was all about Netflix’s competition — though, in this case, instead of Amazon, Apple, and Warner Discovery: it was Blockbuster.

    Read Article >
  • Microsoft’s Activision deal faces EU scrutiny.

    Microsoft is reportedly likely to face objections from the European Commission to its $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision. Reuters reports that the European Commission is preparing a statement of objections to the deal, which will be sent to Microsoft in the coming weeks. Microsoft may be forced to offer more concessions to the EU, after it tried to ease concerns with a 10-year deal offer for Call of Duty to Sony and an agreement with Nintendo.

  • The battle of the standards: why the US and UK can’t stop fighting the metric system

    A cartoon animation showing a signpost with arms labeled with units in “kilometers.” A saw is slowly cutting a circle around the base of the signpost, Looney Toons style.
    Ben Hickey / The Verge

    Casing the joint is an essential part of any heist movie. The protag­onists arrive on the scene, dressed suitably incognito, and do their best to blend in while keeping one eye on their target: a historic painting with emotional significance for the hero, perhaps, or a jewel of unrivaled clarity and brilliance, too tempting not to steal. These were the sorts of treasure floating through my mind as I sat in a pub on a dull October afternoon, reconnoitering a much more mundane target: a wrought iron signpost. 

    The signpost, standing on the other side of the street and quite unaware it was under careful surveillance, couldn’t lay claim to much historic significance or monetary value. In fact, it wasn’t of much interest to anyone unless they happened to be passing through the town of Thaxted in south­east England and wanted to know how many meters it was to the historic windmill. What made this signpost noteworthy was that it had come to the attention of a vigilante group known as Active Resistance to Metrication, or ARM. Their motivation? To stop the adoption of metric units in the UK and preserve the country’s traditional imperial measures. Their method? Waging a guerrilla war against metric road signs and signposts: unscrewing them in the dead of night, stowing them in hedgerows, or amending them using paints and stickers. 

    Read Article >
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2 development continues amidst Ubisoft cancellations

    Beyond Good & Evil 2 concept art
    Concept art from Beyond Good and Evil 2.
    Image: Ubisoft

    After Ubisoft canceled three unannounced projects last week alongside yet another delay for Skull and Bones, questions are inevitably being asked about the publisher’s other development-hell project: Beyond Good and Evil 2. The good news is that work on the game is still under way. The bad news is that its actual release date is just as unclear as ever. 

    Beyond Good and Evil 2’s development is under way and the team is hard at work to deliver on its ambitious promise,” a Ubisoft spokesperson tells Eurogamer. For those keeping track, that means it’s been almost fifteen years since Ubisoft released its first trailer for the game, which is longer than it took to get gaming’s other development-hell classic Duke Nukem Forever out the door. The original Beyond Good and Evil was released in 2003.

    Read Article >
  • Google’s Android clock app now lets you record your own annoying alarm sound

    Android logo on a green and blue background
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Have you ever wanted to be woken from a dreamy slumber by the sound of your partner screaming at you to get out of bed, or perhaps your parents nagging you to get up for school? Well, Google has just the app update for you. The latest Android Clock app on Pixel devices now lets you record your own alarm and timer sounds. Ideal if you want to be woken slowly to the calming sounds of whales or something a lot more chaotic.

    XDA-developers reports that Google has made it easier to set custom audio as your alarm sounds with the latest Clock app. While you could set custom audio recordings before, you’d have to copy the files over using a file manager app and then add them using the alarm sound settings. Now you don’t have to do all of that work because there’s a new option to record sounds right inside the Clock app.

    Read Article >
  • AI art tools Stable Diffusion and Midjourney targeted with copyright lawsuit

    A collage of AI-generated images, including portraits of robots and astronauts; images of castles and occult symbols.
    A collage of AI-generated images created using Stable Diffusion.
    Image: The Verge via Lexica

    A trio of artists have launched a lawsuit against Stability AI and Midjourney, creators of AI art generators Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, and artist portfolio platform DeviantArt, which recently created its own AI art generator, DreamUp.

    The artists — Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz — allege that these organizations have infringed the rights of “millions of artists” by training their AI tools on five billion images scraped from the web “with­out the con­sent of the orig­i­nal artists.”

    Read Article >
  • Emma Roth

    Jan 16

    Emma Roth

    Tweetbot is down again

    An illustration of the Twitter logo.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Tweetbot is down again. The Twitter client briefly became available in the midst of an outage that locked users out of major third-party Twitter clients.

    While users could sign in to Tweetbot and browse through tweets, some said they couldn’t post anything to Twitter through the service without getting an error message stating they’ve reached a “data limit.” But now users say they can’t sign in at all.

    Read Article >
  • Emma Roth

    Jan 15

    Emma Roth

    The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 may finally get the crease right

    An image showing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in an unfolded state
    The crease is still pretty noticeable on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
    Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

    The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 could come with a much less visible crease thanks to a potential design change. According to a report on the Korean site Naver, Samsung could adopt a “droplet”-style hinge that allows the display to form a teardrop shape when closed, making for a much gentler curve that leaves less of a crease (via SamMobile).

    While Samsung has certainly made improvements to the crease over the years, it’s still pretty noticeable on its fourth-gen foldables. Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 use a “U”-shaped hinge design that puts the display at a sharper angle when closed. This creates a more prominent crease and also puts more stress on the display.

    Read Article >
  • Who should be the next CEO of Twitter?

    Elon Musk shrugging on a background with the Twitter logo
    Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

    The following is a free preview from last week’s Command Line, my new weekly newsletter about the tech industry’s inside conversation:

    Elon Musk has said he will find a new CEO for Twitter after users voted for him to leave. But who would, in his own words, be “foolish enough to take the job”?

    Read Article >
  • Twitter apps are still broken and Musk is still silent

    A black Twitter logo over a red and white background
    There was a problem accessing your account.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    It’s been a few days since pretty much every major third-party Twitter client broke, and developers say they still haven’t heard anything from the company about what’s going on. The issues seemed to begin on Thursday evening, with some users reporting that they were getting errors related to authentication.

    The silence from the company has been pretty much complete. “Still no official/unofficial info from inside Twitter,” said Tweetbot co-creator Paul Haddad in a Mastodon post. “We’re in the dark just as much as you are,” read a Friday blog post from Iconfactory, the company behind Twitterific.

    Read Article >