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Is Threads signing a key free agent away from Elon Musk?

Even as big advertisers exit, sports Twitter has continued going strong. But now the official Threads account announced that sports/NBA Twitter’s newsbreaker Adrian Wojnarowski “has landed” and is doing a Q&A Friday.

If “woj bombs” are on the move, it might be about more than hashtags — Wojnarowski works at ESPN, which is still owned by Disney. Musk singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger with his “go f yourself” comments last week, then followed up with more attacks and accusations today while misspelling Iger’s name and saying “He should be fired immediately.”

The Verge
When Geoff Keighley introduced Timothée Chalamet as a YouTuber, he wasn’t lying.

And he did mod Xbox 360 controllers.

The Verge’s favorite holiday gifts under $25

Whether you need a stocking stuffer or a white elephant present, we’ve got an inexpensive gift idea for nearly every occasion.

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Comcast’s internet and cable TV prices are going up.

No one from the company would comment on the record, but a statement to Bloomberg blames rising prices for Xfinity — reportedly about 3 percent on average and $3 per month for internet-only service — on how “Rising programming costs continue to drive the highest increase in customers’ bills.”

You’d think that maybe a massive check on the way from Disney or owning its own studio (as noted below) would help with that instead, but just like the streamers as well as its fellow service providers AT&T and Verizon earlier this year, prices keep going up.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

The latest Echo Frames look cool but…

Alexa is still Alexa. I just reviewed the $389.99 Carrera Cruiser version of the Amazon Echo Frames. As far as smart glasses go, this is definitely an upgrade on the style front and it’s got better battery life than before. However the audio improvements and Alexa improvements are really minor when you consider the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses start at $299 and do a lot more.

Alan Wake II’s New Game Plus mode comes out on December 11th.

Kyle Rowley, the director of Alan Wake II, snuck in the mention of the new mode at the end of Sam Lake’s acceptance speech for the Best Game Direction award. Rowley promised it will have “new story content.”

There’s gold (and lithium and cobalt) in all those EV battery packs

Smarter tech and new recycling techniques might just mean our EVs get even greener. Here’s how Redwood Materials is putting recycling at the heart of the burgeoning battery belt.

John Romero and John Carmack will be on Twitch together this weekend.

The industry legends will be on a livestream to talk about the 30th anniversary of Doom, and I’m guessing it will be a fascinating conversation.

The livestream, which will be on Romero’s Twitch channel, kicks off on December 10th at 3PM ET. If you want to learn some of the history between the two, check out Romero’s autobiography — which we have an excerpt of that you can read right now.

Emoji can be tags on Threads.

If somebody has turned an emoji into a tag, you’ll be able to click on that emoji to see other people talking about it.

In other news, please join my waffle club.

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Google Maps in Android Auto now has a toggle that lets you record where you parked.

Google added a “Save Parking” toggle you’ll see at the end of your trip, and it pins the spot on Google Maps and adds it to reminders, reports 9to5Google. It seems easier than the conventional method.

iPhones have been able to automatically save your parking location in Apple Maps after you exit your car since 2016.

With Dream Scenario, Nic Cage wants to let you in on a secret

Dream Scenario’s Nic Cage wants you to know that there’s a difference between maximalism and pushing the boundaries of filmmaking as an art.

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Papa John’s used an AI platform to create Spanish subtitles and narration for a commercial with Shaq.

Moises, the audio tech app behind it, officially launched Music.AI today. It offers a mix of proprietary AI models and third-party tools for commercial use. The APIs also include one for vocal extraction, downbeat detection, and a tool that can transform a song into a video (complete with synchronized lyrics) — among others.

Papa Johns Shaq-A-Roni TV Spot, 'Mucho más Pepperoni' canción de Young MC

[ | Realtime TV Advertising Performance Measurement]

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Amazon and Venmo are breaking up.

Amazon is going to stop letting you pay for things on its marketplace using Venmo as of January 10th, CNBC reports. You also can’t add Venmo as an Amazon payment option anymore, according to a Venmo support page.

The Venmo integration on Amazon was barely a year old; it started rolling out in October 2022.

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The head of Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer project has left the company.

Ganesh Venkataramanan left Tesla in November, Bloomberg reports. The project is now being overseen by Peter Bannon, who has designed chips for Intel and Apple.

Tesla said earlier this year that it has started production of the supercomputer, which will be used to help train its self-driving technology.

The road ahead for EV adoption is made of gravel

Cities and major travel corridors will get electrified in the coming years thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, but what does the EV transition look like for the places in between?

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The woes of the salesforce at Salesforce.

Bloomberg takes a look at the enterprise software-maker that bought Slack:

Earlier this year, Salesforce’s top 100 sellers were sipping Champagne in a luxury hotel on the Adriatic coast booked by the company. It was the annual celebration for top performers, with Millham as the keynote speaker. But everyone was seeing text messages and LinkedIn posts from colleagues who’d been let go. “It was a little awkward,” one attendee recalls.

Salesforce is, in some ways, the microcosm of the tech economy, the story suggests — and its growth mirrored that of the tech ecosystem, too.

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“One area that is thriving? Companies in the business of failure.”

We talked earlier this year about what the change in the interest rate environment meant for VC-funded tech companies. Now The New York Times is taking stock of the carnage:

Carta, a company that provides financial services for many Silicon Valley start-ups, said 87 of the start-ups on its platform that raised at least $10 million had shut down this year as of October, twice the number for all of 2022.

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OpenAI is low on Toner.

Helen Toner, one of the board members who fired Sam Altman and then ousted herself when Altman returned, has given an interview to The Wall Street Journal. She is unable to give a specific reason for Altman’s firing beyond “Our goal in firing Sam was to strengthen OpenAI and make it more able to achieve its mission.”

Listen, babe, I am fully happy to hear you out, but if being full of shit is a firing offense for CEOs, everyone in the Fortune 500 would be looking for a new job.

Epic v. Google: everything we’re learning live in Fortnite court

In a redux of a case against Apple and iOS, Epic aims to dismantle barriers that could spell higher fees for app makers — and, Google argues, keep Android safe and competitive.

Sea of Thieves without pirates.

Sea of Thieves players have long been asking for the ability to set sail in private without disruptions from other pirates. Rare is delivering that today with a new mode called Safer Seas. You can now play truly alone or with up to three other friends, and no other players will be there in the world to sink your ship and steal your loot. The existing shared world is now known as High Seas, and will include the best reputation rates and all the elements of the game that are focused on player vs. player.

The best instant cameras you can buy right now

We found the best cameras for your budget and needs.