Skip to main content

Filed under:

Wednesday’s top tech news: Meta unbans Trump

Here’s the top tech news for Thursday, January 26th, 2023.

Meta has announced an end to Donald Trump’s ban from using Facebook and Instagram. The ban was put in place two years ago, after the deadly January 6th attacks on the Capitol.

Nintendo and Microsoft made for odd partners this morning, announcing that a long-anticipated remastered edition of the classic Nintendo 64 first-person shooter, GoldenEye 007, will launch Friday for players on Nintendo Switch and Xbox platforms.

Later in the afternoon, Microsoft hosted an Xbox Developer Direct showcase to preview games like RedfallForza Motorsport, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Minecraft Legends.

In other news, Adult Swim has officially cut ties with Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland in the wake of the voice actor’s two felony charges for domestic battery and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit. The channel says the show is still in production, but its reputation will have taken a severe hit as a result of the allegations.

A big part of Microsoft’s strategy has always been how it bundles the services it offers to businesses. That’s great when everything’s working, less so when there’s an outage like we saw today with Outlook and Teams. If you can’t email your colleagues, and you can’t instant message them, then what in the world is left? WhatsApp? The outage brings to a close a tough week for Microsoft that included layoffs and declining sales.

And finally, Tesla says it’s investing billions in its Nevada operations which it says will help expand its battery cell and Semi truck production. The new $3.6 billion round of investment comes in addition to the $6.2 billion Tesla has already invested in the Nevada Gigafactory. The electric automaker reported its quarterly earnings results this afternoon, saying it earned $3.7 billion in net income on $24.3 billion in revenue.

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: Wednesday, January 25th, 2023.
  • Jan 27, 2023

    Tom Warren and Andrew Webster

    GoldenEye 007 is now available on Nintendo Switch and Xbox

    GoldenEye 007 has finally landed on Xbox and Nintendo Switch in a simultaneous dual-release of two titles with some important differences.

    On Xbox, GoldenEye 007 is a remastered version of the legendary Nintendo 64 title that first launched in 1997. The remaster includes 4K resolution, smoother frame rates, and split-screen local multiplayer, similar to a 2008-era bound-for-Xbox 360 version that was canceled amid licensing and rights issues but leaked out in 2021.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew J. Hawkins

    Jan 25, 2023

    Andrew J. Hawkins

    Joe Manchin is trying to derail the EV tax credit he helped craft

    Senator Joe Manchin
    Photo by: William B. Plowman / NBC via Getty Images

    West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) introduced a new bill that would halt the current electric vehicle tax credit until strict new battery requirements are put in place. It’s the latest move by the conservative Democrat to limit the government’s ability to incentivize car buyers to shift to less polluting vehicles.

    Manchin, who had a hand last year in crafting the EV tax credit that was included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), placed the blame on the Internal Revenue Service for blowing past its December 31st, 2022 deadline to release guidance on the battery requirements.

    Read Article >
  • Makena Kelly

    Jan 25, 2023

    Makena Kelly

    Meta allows Trump back on Facebook and Instagram

    Former U.S. President Donald Trump
    Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Meta announced Wednesday that it will allow former President Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram two years after his initial suspension. 

    In a Wednesday blog post, Meta announced that it would reinstate Trump’s accounts sometime over the next few weeks. If Trump once again violates Meta’s content policies, the company said that his accounts would be subject to additional suspensions, ranging from one month to two years, “depending on the severity of the violation.”

    Read Article >
  • Adi Robertson

    Jan 25, 2023

    Adi Robertson

    Elon Musk’s Twitter is caving to government censorship, just like he promised

    India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    Getty Images

    Tech companies — including Twitter — are following the Indian government’s demands to suppress a BBC documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As reported by The Intercept and TechCrunch, Twitter and YouTube both locally blocked The Modi Question, which investigates claims of Modi’s involvement in India’s deadly 2002 Gujarat riots. It’s one of Twitter’s first tangles with India under the ownership of billionaire Elon Musk, but contrary to some writing, the documentary’s ban isn’t an example of Musk violating a vocal “free speech absolutist” ethos. It’s a reminder that Musk has always been fine with government censorship.

    Over the weekend, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting senior advisor Kanchan Gupta tweeted that both Twitter and YouTube had complied with orders passed down by the government, which has labeled the BBC documentary “hateful propaganda.” The documentary has also been apparently removed by the Internet Archive, although it’s not clear whether this was following a demand from the government or a copyright complaint from the original owner, and the Internet Archive didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew J. Hawkins

    Jan 25, 2023

    Andrew J. Hawkins

    Tesla made more money in 2022 than ever before, but its future still looks rocky

    The Tesla logo on a red, black, and white background.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Amid flagging demand, steep price cuts, and ongoing drama surrounding Elon Musk’s stewardship of Twitter, Tesla published its fourth quarter earnings report in which the company said it earned $3.7 billion in net income on $24.3 billion in revenue. That represents a 59 percent increase year over year compared to $2.8 billion in revenue in Q4 2021.

    It was also Tesla’s third year ending in the black, with $14.1 billion in net income for 2022, compared to $5.5 billion in profit in 2021 and a mere $721 million in 2020. Tesla turned that profit on over $81.5 billion in revenue. 

    Read Article >
  • Umar Shakir

    Jan 25, 2023

    Umar Shakir

    Lauren Sánchez will lead an all-woman crew to space on Blue Origin

    Celebrity Sightings In New York City - May 01, 2022
    Image: Raymond Hall/GC Images

    Lauren Sánchez is best known for her TV and news appearances — and a relationship with Jeff Bezos (that had a few publicly dramatic turns) — but now, she could soon be known as the first person to lead an all-woman space mission on Blue Origin. In an interview with WSJ. Magazine, Sánchez reveals that she’s wanted to fly on earlier missions but Bezos is now encouraging her and thrilled to put together the female crew.

    Sánchez isn’t saying who the five women are who will be joining her, something that will be revealed closer to the planned early 2024 flight. “It’s going to be women who are making a difference in the world and who are impactful and have a message to send,” Sánchez tells the Journal. And Bezos won’t be getting an exception to attend her flight. “I’m going to have to hold him back,” Sánchez said. “He’ll be cheering us all on from the sidelines.”

    Read Article >
  • Mitchell Clark

    Jan 25, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Messenger could be the dawn of third-party Windows widgets

    Screenshot of Microsoft’s Widget tray with a Facebook Messenger widget displaying several conversations.
    Image: Microsoft

    One of the first third-party widgets for Windows 11 may end up being Meta’s Messenger. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that there’s now a preview version of the app in the Microsoft Store with support for the widget system, letting you see your latest messages right from the widget tray.

    The widget doesn’t appear to be available unless you’re running the latest Insider Preview build, so most people won’t be able to try it out just yet. If you are, it may be a bit of a spotty experience — Microsoft says the preview has a few known issues where “third-party widgets may occasionally disappear from the widgets board” or get unpinned.

    Read Article >
  • Victoria Song

    Jan 25, 2023

    Victoria Song

    How to use wearable tech if you’ve got tattoos

    The Apple Watch against a series of colorful illustrations depicting smartwatch use
    Smartwatches often don’t work with tattoos, but there are alternatives and workarounds.
    Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

    If you’ve got tattoos and are interested in trying out wearable tech, there are a few things to consider before reaching for your wallet.

    The bad news is that tattoos and wearables aren’t always compatible. It’s a known issue among wearable makers but isn’t apparent to many consumers. You can still occasionally stumble upon social media posts where tattooed folks strap on a new smartwatch only to find that the device doesn’t work well — if it works at all. In the case of the Apple Watch, for example, tattoos can interfere with wrist detection, making the device unable to recognize that you’re actually wearing it.

    Read Article >
  • Rick and Morty will continue but without Justin Roiland

    Justin Roiland at New York Comic Con in 2013.
    Justin Roiland at New York Comic Con in 2013.
    Image: Getty

    Though Adult Swim initially had little to say about recent news reports that Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is facing two felony charges for domestic battery and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, the channel now says it has cut ties with him.

    In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Adult Swim / Cartoon Network communications senior vice president Marie Moore announced that the network has “ended its association with Justin Roiland.”

    Read Article >
  • Jan 25, 2023

    Mia Sato and Emma Roth

    CNET found errors in more than half of its AI-written stories

    An image showing a graphic of a brain on a black background
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    CNET issued corrections on 41 of the 77 stories the outlet published that were written using an AI tool. In a note published today, CNET editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo defended the use of the AI writing tool but said that an internal review of stories uncovered numerous errors in the articles at the center of the controversy.

    Articles with corrections include ones titled “What Is Compound Interest?,” “How Much Should You Keep in a CD?,” “Does a Home Equity Loan Affect Private Mortgage Insurance?” and dozens more. A handful of articles, like this one, had the correction note reading, “We’ve replaced phrases that were not entirely original,” indicating that some of their language may have been plagiarized.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew J. Hawkins

    Jan 25, 2023

    Andrew J. Hawkins

    Rad Power Bikes’ new CEO acknowledges ‘mistakes,’ vows renewed focus on safety

    Rad Power Bikes RadWagon
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Rad Power Bikes’ new CEO, Phil Molyneux, said the company has “made mistakes” surrounding safety and reliability but vows to do better in the future.

    In a letter to customers, Molyneux said the e-bike company will have “a laser focus on safety and reliability” going forward in order to ensure its bikes are the best on the market. The letter appears to be a response to a recent recall of over 30,000 electric cargo bikes for misaligned tires, as well as several lawsuits related to the safety of its products.

    Read Article >
  • Ash Parrish

    Jan 25, 2023

    Ash Parrish

    Twitch is going to make pre-roll ads way less annoying

    Twitch logo
    Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

    Twitch is sharing a road map for features it’s working on for 2023. Among them are changes to the way ads are run, new first-party tools to help with chat engagement, and tools to help streamers manage their brand deals. But the biggest is making pre-roll ads less annoying.

    For 2023, Twitch is working on changing how ads are displayed during a stream. As described in an open letter from chief product officer Tom Verrilli and chief monetization officer Mike Minton:

    Read Article >
  • Jan 25, 2023

    Chris Person

    Valve is notorious for its purported flat structure, where people are encouraged to work on whatever they want. But how does that work in practice?

    People Make Games — previously seen investigating just how screwed up Roblox is and unregulated Counter-Strike gambling — anonymously interviewed 16 current and former Valve employees to find out.

    Some of the employees interviewed thrived, others called out the company for having a massive diversity problem, and others still pointed to systemic flaws with the Stack ranking system.

  • Alex Cranz

    Jan 25, 2023

    Alex Cranz

    Today on the Vergecast: Zombies, noncompetes, and the mystery of the missing USB-C hub.

    I sat down with Charles Pulliam-Moore to talk the first two episodes of The Last of Us, but if you want to skip possible spoilers jump straight to 22:05 where I’m joined by Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code, to talk about the unique relationship between noncompetes and Silicon Valley. Finally we wrap the episode up answering your questions—including where all the USB-C only hubs are.

  • Jan 25, 2023

    Verge Staff

    The Verge’s favorite desktop accessories

    Cat sitting on desk next to monitor, keyboard, and other devices.
    Image: Jay Peters / The Verge

    Most of us keep more on our desks than our laptops, monitors, and keyboards. Gamers will have a high-end microphone and / or camera, not to mention their various consoles and keyboards; tech enthusiasts will have video setups, Stream Decks, and multiple monitors; and many of our desktops are covered with a variety of stuff, anything from a bullet journal and a favorite mug to a cool windup toy.

    We asked the staff of The Verge what they keep on their desks. Here are some of the answers we got.

    Read Article >
  • Poker Face is Peacock’s first truly great original series

    A blonde woman with layered hair, wearing a pair of aviators in which her blue car and the highway are being reflected.
    Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale.
    Image: Peacock

    In any given week of American television, there are no fewer than 15 crime shows trying to satisfy the public’s craving for murder mysteries with potent doses of copaganda fashioned into tales “ripped from the headlines.” At first, it almost seems as if Poker Face — Peacock’s new comedy drama from Rian Johnson — is merely trying to riff on that style of storytelling with its slightly offbeat premise and consistently superb cinematography. But rather than scratching our collective whodunit itch with overwrought stories about how cops are the only people really fighting for justice, Poker Face calls bullshit on the entire idea and focuses instead on being a series of fascinating character-driven puzzles.

    Poker Face chronicles the adventures of Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne), an industrious former poker player who is definitely not a cop and doesn’t think all that much about her unique ability to tell when people are lying as the series first opens. While Charlie can’t always intuit exactly how people are being willfully deceptive, she knows when they’re being honest with her and how to think on her feet — the ideal skills for a woman looking to avoid too much trouble with the shady gambling types she once ran with.

    Read Article >
  • James Vincent

    Jan 25, 2023

    James Vincent

    Microsoft is going to expand access its AI coding tool.

    But, as this report from The Information notes, can AI “pair programmer” GitHub CoPilot be a money spinner? The publication points out:

    Even 10 million developers paying $100 a year would generate just $1 billion in annual revenue, a sliver of the $198 billion Microsoft reported in the fiscal year ended June 2022.

    Plus, there’s also that pending class action copyright lawsuit...

  • Richard Lawler

    Jan 25, 2023

    Richard Lawler

    Green light.

    The N64 GoldenEye remaster is almost here, and this afternoon we’ll get a new Tesla quarterly earnings report, in case you’ve missed hearing from Elon Musk.

    But first up is the Xbox stream at noon PT / 3PM ET, where we expect to hear about games like Redfall and Forza Motorsport — but not Starfield.

  • Casey Newton

    Jan 25, 2023

    Casey Newton

    Why Google is facing its most serious antitrust challenge to date

    Google logo and black swirls
    Illustration: The Verge

    Today let’s talk about a major new antitrust case against Google, and the increasing likelihood that something at the company is going to have to give.


    Read Article >
  • Dan Seifert

    Jan 25, 2023

    Dan Seifert

    The M2 Pro Mac Mini fills out its case.

    Apple’s new M2 Pro Mac Mini comes with more power than any Mini before it. And unlike the M1 or M2 versions, the M2 Pro model actually fills out the spacious Mini case with a larger logic board and more powerful power supply. Unsurprisingly, the M2 Pro model also borrows some internal design ideas from the Mac Studio.

    YouTuber Luke Miani has taken it down to the metal to see exactly what’s different with the M2 Pro Mini and the models before it. And when you’re done watching that, check out Chris Welch’s review.

  • Andrew J. Hawkins

    Jan 25, 2023

    Andrew J. Hawkins

    Honda says all Acura EV sales will be ‘100 percent online,’ starting with ZDX

    Acura ZDX in camouflage
    The electric Acura ZDX, due out in 2024 and seen here in camouflage, will be the automaker’s first EV sold exclusively online.
    Image: Acura

    Honda is restructuring its business as it looks ahead to achieving 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2040. As such, the company announced that all of its Acura-branded EVs will be sold exclusively online, starting with the ZDX SUV, due out next year.

    The company is shaking up its leadership roster and creating a new division to handle sales, marketing, and communications for its budding EV business. And it is positioning its luxury and performance brand Acura as the “tip of the spear” in its shift to EVs, which includes improved software services and, most notably, e-commerce.

    Read Article >
  • Jan 25, 2023

    Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

    Can you ‘hack’ your dating app to get better matches?

    An illustration showing different profiles from a dating app, with heart and X buttons underneath. A finger hovers over a photo of a silly looking buff man. The other screens show a lumberjack, a woman with cats, a woman fishing, and a man chilling on a car.
    Illustration by Tony Johnson / The Verge

    Asking a dating exec how their matchmaking algorithm works is like asking Coca-Cola for its top-secret formula: they’ll tell you it’s a mystery, that it’s too hard to explain, that they simply cannot talk about it, Fight Club style.

    Tinder says that it looks at things like app usage, profile details, and swipe history to find your matches. Bumble also says it looks at your swipe history, while Hinge didn’t say much, except that its “proprietary algorithm” was based on work done by two Nobel Prize-winning mathematicians. 

    Read Article >
  • Tom Warren

    Jan 25, 2023

    Tom Warren

    Windows 11’s File Explorer is getting a modern UI overhaul

    Illustration of Microsoft’s Windows logo
    Alex Castro / The Verge

    Microsoft is reportedly working on a big update to the File Explorer in Windows 11 that will improve its UI and features. Windows Central reports that the overhaul will include modern designs to match the rest of Windows 11 and features to more deeply integrate Microsoft 365 and OneDrive.

    Internal mock-ups show a redesigned header in the File Explorer alongside an updated search box and new home button. The home page of File Explorer also includes deeper Microsoft 365 integration, listing large thumbnails of documents that include items related to meetings, downloads, and comments from colleagues.

    Read Article >
  • Jon Porter

    Jan 25, 2023

    Jon Porter

    Major supplier to chipmakers expects a recovery sooner rather than later

    ASML Holding CEO Peter Wennink News Conference
    ASML CEO Peter Wennink.
    Image: Getty

    A key supplier of chip manufacturing tools believes that demand for semiconductors could pick back up in the second half of this year, CNBC and the Financial Times report. “Most of our customers tell us that they expect a recovery in the second half of this year,” ASML CEO Peter Wennink tells CNBC. The prediction comes after a difficult few months for the tech industry that has been marked by layoffs and a slump in demand for consumer tech following a pandemic boom.

    ASML is a lesser known but critical player in the global semiconductor supply chain. The Financial Times notes it’s the only company in the world that produces the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines needed to produce today’s most advanced chips. ASML’s customers include TSMC, Samsung, and Intel.

    Read Article >
  • Tom Warren

    Jan 25, 2023

    Tom Warren

    Microsoft Teams and Outlook back online after a four-hour outage

    Illustration of the Microsoft wordmark on a green background
    The Verge

    Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other Microsoft 365 services are back online for thousands of users worldwide after a networking issue. The software maker intitially said it had “identified a potential networking issue” before rollling back a network change and monitoring its services to make sure they’re back online.

    Thousands of users reported issues early this morning at around 2:30AM ET, with services like Microsoft Teams and Outlook email not loading for many across Europe and Asia. The outage lasted around four hours, with Microsoft listed the following Microsoft 365 services as affected:

    Read Article >