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Monday’s top tech news: Mario’s still got a day job

I sometimes forget that in between his adventurous odysseys, Mario’s day job is plumbing. So it’s fun to see the upcoming movie lean into it, using Mario’s profession as an excuse to revive the rap used in the 1989 Super Mario Bros TV show. The clip from the film was one of the half-dozen plus trailers broadcast during last night’s Super Bowl — The Guardian has a neat roundup of the other big ones.

In other news, it might not be a good idea to attempt the Steam Deck RGB mod that’s been doing the rounds after users reported that it can cause damage to the handheld computer’s mother board. Why not stick to some safer modifications, like upgrading its storage or replacing its cooling fan?

And finally, in case you missed it, my colleague James Vincent did a great breakdown last week highlighting the biggest risks and problems facing Microsoft and Google as they forge ahead into a new era of AI-powered search.

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: Friday, February 13th, 2023.
  • Emma Roth

    Feb 13, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Twitter is just showing everyone all of Elon Musk’s tweets now

    A screenshot showing a tweet from Elon Musk in Twitter’s For You feed
    The first of several Elon Musk tweets that appear in my For You feed.
    Screenshot: Emma Roth / The Verge

    For many of us, Twitter’s “For You” is full of tweets and replies to tweets from Elon Musk. Not everyone is getting the Musk-first feed, but on Monday afternoon, more than a few people noticed something was different.

    Several of us here at The Verge are seeing more Musk replies than usual, and I personally counted five at the very top of my feed, with many more sprinkled in between tweets from other users. The same is true for some accounts that don’t even follow Musk.

    Read Article >
  • Umar Shakir

    Feb 13, 2023

    Umar Shakir

    Ram 1500 REV loses the prototype’s gimmicks and looks like an electric Ram

    Electric ram truck standing in a modern chic home driveway with a cable plugged into the side.
    The Ram 1500 REV electric truck looks like a regular Ram truck now.
    Image: Stellantis

    Stellantis revealed its new Ram 1500 REV electric truck with an ad during the Super Bowl yesterday, and it’s not looking quite like the lean-roofed, futuristic brute concept that the automaker shared last month.

    The preproduction Ram 1500 REV now looks very similar to the current gas-powered Ram pickup trucks on the road today. Even the interior, including the infotainment screen, would look wholly familiar to recent Ram owners. Stellantis’ design direction for the REV echoes what Ford did with its F-150 Lighting electric pickup, which looks very similar to its combustion engine counterpart as well.

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  • Mitchell Clark

    Feb 13, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Chromebooks might finally get customizable keyboard shortcuts

    The Framework Laptop half open on a marble counter seen from the back.
    Image: Framework

    Google appears to be testing a feature that would let Chromebook users set custom keyboard shortcuts throughout the OS (via Ars Technica). While it doesn’t currently work, About Chromebooks’ Kevin Tofel found a keyboard shortcut editor in the ChromeOS 111 beta that can be accessed by enabling flags with names like “enable-shortcut-customization-app” and “improved-keyboard-shortcuts.”

    The screen, which is accessible through the settings app, shows you the list of shortcuts that are available in different parts of the OS and apps, as well as the default keybindings for them. The experimental version lets you add alternative shortcuts, according to Tofel and Ars Technica, though they unfortunately don’t seem to work — you can set shortcuts, but pressing those keys won’t do what you want. The screen also has options to reset the defaults for both specific shortcuts and for all the shortcuts.

    Read Article >
  • Mitchell Clark

    Feb 13, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Twitter’s new API is still on its way.

    Last week Twitter announced that it wouldn’t shut down its free API until today, and that it’d be replaced by a new system with a limited free option and a $100 a month plan. Now, the company says that update won’t be coming until... sometime, and that eventually there will be more details. I’d take that with a grain of salt.


    Screenshot of a Tweet posted at 3:43PM ET on February 13th from @TwitterDev, reading: “There has been an immense amount of enthusiasm for the upcoming changes with Twitter API. As part of our efforts to create an optimal experience for the developer community, we will be delaying the launch of our new API platform by a few more days.  More information to follow over the coming days. Thank you for your continued interest and patience!”
  • Mitchell Clark

    Feb 13, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Apple’s once again trying to optimize the iPhone’s Crash Detection feature

    An illustration of the Apple logo.
    Illustration: The Verge

    Apple has released iOS 16.3.1, which includes “optimizations” for the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro’s Crash Detection feature that’s been criticized by some search and rescue personnel for setting off false alarms during winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. The update also includes fixes for iCloud settings and Siri requests for Find My, and Apple has released new software for tvOS, HomePods, and the Mac as well.

    The Crash Detection feature on new iPhones and Apple Watches is meant to alert emergency services if you’re unresponsive after a “severe car crash” and is on by default. But as people have been hitting the slopes, some officials have said that the feature’s resulted in several false reports that tie up first responders’ time and resources. In January, an unnamed Apple spokesperson told the New York Post that the company was getting feedback from 911 call centers but wouldn’t answer questions about whether the company planned to update the system.

    Read Article >
  • Justine Calma

    Feb 13, 2023

    Justine Calma

    How a wind industry giant plans to solve its plastic waste problem

    A closeup of a wind turbine standing in a green landscape, with more turbines behind it.
    Turbines in Macarthur, Australia.
    Image: Vestas

    One of the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturers says it has a potentially groundbreaking solution for the industry’s enormous plastic waste problem. Last week, Vestas announced that it found a novel way to break the plastic in turbine blades down into virgin-grade material. That way, instead of cluttering landfills, it can be recycled to make new turbines.

    Here’s why that’s a tall order — like, literally colossal. Modern turbines with blades longer than the height of the Statue of Liberty are quickly taking over land and sea. They’re super sturdy, built to withstand the elements for decades. But once they’re decommissioned, they typically become waste. Globally by 2050, turbine blades are expected to become 43.4 million tons of trash.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew J. Hawkins

    Feb 13, 2023

    Andrew J. Hawkins

    Ford’s EVs are getting faster charging and more affordable batteries thanks to new chemistry

    The Ford F-150 Lightning in a driveway
    Image: Nilay Patel / The Verge

    Ford announced a $3.5 billion electric vehicle factory in its home state of Michigan, where it will produce EV batteries with a lithium iron phosphate chemistry that it says are more durable, faster charging, and more affordable than its current lineup of EVs.

    Ford will develop the LFP batteries alongside China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), a global producer of EV batteries — though the automaker stressed that it will own and operate the plant outright through its wholly owned subsidiary and that the Chinese company will only provide “knowledge and services.” The construction project will generate 2,500 jobs for the region, with initial production expected to commence in 2026.

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  • Emma Roth

    Feb 13, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Bigscreen VR’s $999 Beyond headset is custom-made to fit your face

    Bigscreen VR’s first virtual reality headset is surprisingly small, weighing in at just 127 grams, or around 4.5 ounces. Despite its size, the wired-only and PC-only headset, called Beyond, doesn’t compromise on specs, offering OLED displays with 5120 x 2560 resolution, up to a 90Hz refresh rate, and a range of customization options.

    The device comes with pancake lenses, which allow the headset to have a thinner and lighter form factor with “massively improved optical clarity” when compared to other devices that use Fresnel lenses, like the Valve Index. It also features a 90-degree field of view along with built-in SteamVR tracking that’s compatible with SteamVR base stations, controllers, and accessories. The headset fully supports the VR games on Steam as well, including Bigscreen’s own app, where you can watch movies, play games, and hang out with friends in VR.

    Read Article >
  • Richard Lawler

    Feb 13, 2023

    Richard Lawler

    This $15,000 GPU doesn’t even have modern ray tracing or AI built-in.

    Last year’s big GPU price drop doesn’t apply to a prototype version of the never-officially-released 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000 that sold on eBay over the weekend (via Videocardz.com).

    Representing the potential top of the line in 2000-era video card tech, the listing says it has four GPUs and 128MB VRAM onboard and claims it’s been reworked to handle 8X FSAA.


    eBay listing for a prototype 3DFX Voodoo 5 6000 graphics card
    Image: gtastuntcrew302 / eBay
  • Sheena Vasani

    Feb 13, 2023

    Sheena Vasani

    The Apple Watch Ultra returns to its all-time low price

    The Apple Watch Ultra under water
    The Apple Watch Ultra is on sale for $729.99.
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Welcome to a new week, dear readers! Today, we’re starting off our roundup with an excellent deal that more adventurous Apple aficionados out there will love. Right now, the most capable smartwatch Apple’s ever made — the Apple Watch Ultra — is currently $729.99 at Amazon (for select customers) at checkout as well as at Costco for members through February 14th. That matches the wearable’s all-time low price and is the lowest we’ve seen it sell for so far this year. If you’re not eligible for either deal, fret not because you can also buy the wearable for $749 at Amazon and Best Buy, which is its second-best price.

    For more active types, Apple’s rugged Watch Ultra may be wiser to buy than the Apple Watch Series 8 (which, by the way, is also still $70 off in various configurations starting at $329 at Best Buy and Target). That’s because it offers advanced features that the Series 8 lacks and that outdoorsy types will appreciate. These include new sensors for measuring diving metrics, precise GPS tracking, a battery that lasts for days, and increased durability. There’s even a siren you can activate in case you get lost while, say, hiking in a remote location. However, there are a few drawbacks you should note: at 49mm, it may be too big for small wrists, and it lacks some features that other watches geared towards active types offer, like recovery metrics and offline maps. Read our review.

    Read Article >
  • Emma Roth

    Feb 13, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Crypto firm Paxos ordered to stop issuing Binance stablecoin

    A coin is set aflame to reveal a digital wireframe underneath.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    New York regulators have ordered the cryptocurrency firm Paxos to stop issuing Binance USD (BUSD) — the third largest stablecoin by market cap and pegged to the US dollar — over concerns that it can’t “safely” issue the token, as reported earlier by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

    This comes as Paxos faces a potential lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the BUSD token. Sources close to the situation tell The Wall Street Journal that the agency is planning to sue the company “for violating investor protection laws.”

    Read Article >
  • Richard Lawler

    Feb 13, 2023

    Richard Lawler

    Green light.

    The Super Bowl is over, and all the advertisements are now easily available on YouTube (for movie trailers other than The Flash, check Polygon’s roundup linked below).

    Did you check out Fox’s 1080p HDR-upconverted-to-4K broadcast? How’d it look?


  • The Flash’s first trailer gives new meaning to ‘world’s finest’

    It’s still hard to believe that Warner Bros. Discovery’s The Flash is actually happening given its years of production setbacks and star Ezra Miller’s recent brushes with the police related to a number of troubling situations. Scandals be damned, The Flash is on its way, but by the look of the movie’s first trailer, Miller’s Barry Allen isn’t going to be the real big-ticket draw here.

    Loosely based on DC’s Flashpoint comics event, director Andy Muschietti’s The Flash will follow Barry across the multiverse as he embarks on a haphazard journey into the past, where he hopes to prevent his mother’s death. By tapping into the power of the Speed Force, it’s (relatively) easy enough for him to travel through time by really pushing his metahuman speed. But when Barry’s meddling in the past leads to the creation of a new timeline totally devoid of metahumans that he becomes trapped in, he and that reality’s Barry (also played by Miller) team up in hopes of putting things right.

    Read Article >
  • Jess Weatherbed

    Feb 13, 2023

    Jess Weatherbed

    What is this, a 3D printer for ants?

    Not quite, but this miniature resin printer created by My N Mi is surprisingly fully-functional and capable of producing delicate, detailed prints despite measuring just 18 x 31 x 41 millimeters (seen via The Awesomer).

    That’s about the right size for a typical dollhouse FYI, and it's giving me the same vibes as those addictive miniature-cooking videos.


  • Emma Roth

    Feb 12, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Plumbing’s their game.

    The latest ad for the Super Mario Bros. Movie is a plumbing commercial with the iconic rap from the 1989 Super Mario TV show. And yes, the included website and phone number actually work.


  • Emma Roth

    Feb 12, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Don’t attempt this RGB Steam Deck mod just yet

    An image showing RGB lighting on the Steam Deck
    The RGBDeck mod just isn’t ready yet.
    Image: Adam Honse / Reddit

    As cool as the Steam Deck looks with RGB lighting, you might not want to attempt to mod your device just yet. One Reddit user who tried the mod found that while adding the RGB LEDs doesn’t draw a significant amount of power from the battery, it can cause pretty big issues with the Steam Deck’s motherboard.

    The “RGBDeck” mod started making the rounds on Reddit earlier this month, with u/WUBBSY documenting the process of affixing a small microcontroller and LED strips to the device. They topped it off with a transparent backing from JSAUX, allowing the lights to shine through the case while the Steam Deck’s switched on. The end result gives the Steam Deck a nice pop of color (in a very gamer PC kind of way).

    Read Article >
  • Emma Roth

    Feb 12, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Why can’t we have both?

    We’ve already seen modders swap their iPhone’s Lightning port for USB-C, but this YouTuber adds a USB-C port to their iPhone 12 mini while keeping the device’s existing Lightning port.

    The idea of a double-ported iPhone may seem a bit strange, but hey — at least this person can plug in headphones and charge their phone at the same time.


  • James Vincent

    Feb 9, 2023

    James Vincent

    7 problems facing Bing, Bard, and the future of AI search

    An illustration of a woman typing on a keyboard, her face replaced with lines of code.
    Image: The Verge

    This week, Microsoft and Google promised that web search is going to change. Yes, Microsoft did it in a louder voice while jumping up and down and saying “look at me, look at me,” but both companies now seem committed to using AI to scrape the web, distill what it finds, and generate answers to users’ questions directly — just like ChatGPT.

    Microsoft calls its efforts “the new Bing” and is building related capabilities into its Edge browser. Google’s is called project Bard, and while it’s not yet ready to sing, a launch is planned for the “coming weeks.” And of course, there’s the troublemaker that started it all: OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which exploded onto the web last year and showed millions the potential of AI Q&A.

    Read Article >