Tech News

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Google reportedly pulls Huawei’s Android license

Following the US crackdown on Chinese technology companies, Reuters reports that Google has cut off Huawei’s Android license, which would represent a huge blow to the besieged phonemaker. Reuters is reporting the news from a single anonymous source; The Verge requested comment from Google and Huawei about the suspension, but did not hear back from either company by the time of publication.

If the Reuters report is accurate, Huawei could be restricted to using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which would cut the company off from critical Google apps that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices. Reuters says Google is still debating the details of how this sanction would work, but that Huawei would “immediately lose...

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Tati Westbrook and James Charles’ new videos are a lesson on how to

James Charles in his own follow up video.

Beauty YouTuber Tati Westbrook posted a video that lost fellow YouTuber James Charles three million subscribers, and then asked fans to stop unfollowing him. They listened — and showcased a cycle that defines fan culture on YouTube.

After Westbrook’s plea, fans started re-following Charles in droves, with more than 45,000 people hitting subscribe just one day after her second video went up. That video has more than quadrupled since Charles published his own lengthy video about the situation. He also asked fans to stop spreading hate, but the YouTube community needed to pick a side. Fans acted the only way they knew how: subscribe and unsubscribe.

Westbrook began her beauty vlogging career in 2010, and has spent the last nine years...

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20 years ago, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace changed movies forever

On May 19th, 1999, George Lucas changed movies forever. The long-anticipated Star Wars prequel Episode I: The Phantom Menace hit theaters, returning to a world that fans had thought they’d never see again. For some, excitement turned to confusion, puzzlement, and outright anger by the time the credits rolled, and Lucas’s grand cinematic experiment was off to a rocky start. Looking back at the film two decades later, The Phantom Menace proved to be a precursor for the cinematic environment that we now find ourselves in. It was a special effects revolution, the first inkling that stories might never end, and a film where the director and cast faced enormous pushback from fans.

In 2019, we live in a world where massive, interconnected...

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A million fans sign Game of Thrones petition, but it won’t stop them

As fans prepare for the longest night — a world without Game of Thrones — many are still hanging on for dear life. A petition to remake the controversial final season has crossed a million signatures on Change.org, and is currently featured on the site’s front page above real causes, like asking CVS to donate food instead of throwing it in the trash. “David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers,” the petition says. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense.”

Yes — it’s obviously a hopeless gesture of frustration and not a real effort for change, and even Dylan, the petition’s creator, admits its folly. In a follow-up post on May 17th, Dylan says “I don’t think people can reasonably...

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Alt-Frequencies is an interactive audio drama about government conspir

Time waits for no one, but occasionally, it does get stuck in a loop. So goes the premise of Alt-Frequencies, a new audio mystery in which players skim radio stations to uncover a government conspiracy.

Alt-Frequencies is the latest game from Accidental Queens, creator of A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Its latest tale — available now for mobile and PC — posits that our lives may be stuck in a never-ending time loop initiated by government officials. We just don’t know it yet. In order to expose the truth, players listen to different radio broadcasts, record relevant information, and send it back into the airwaves.

It’s an interesting idea executed simply: swiping left or right will allow you to browse...

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Little Printer returns as an open-source messaging device

Berg’s Little Printer, an adorable internet-connected box that printed out tiny snippets of news, Instagram photos, and to-do lists, stopped working when the studio and its servers shut down in 2014. Now, design consultancy firm Nord Projects has brought it back to life with a brand-new app, and it added the ability to send messages between devices, as reported by Core77.

A group of Little Printer enthusiasts on GitHub collaborated to get the device back online through an open-source server called Sirius. Nord Projects then designed a Little Printers iOS app that re-created old favorite features like poster fonts and dithergrams, while adding a few more modern touches. The app lets you print photos and notes via the iOS Share sheet, and...

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I Am Human is a tech doc with a refreshing focus on people

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

We’re in a dark moment for the tech industry: a time when some new technologies have been adopted recklessly and backfired terribly, and others have developed far more slowly than their creators hoped. Against the backdrop of this pessimism, a film like I Am Human — a fundamentally optimistic documentary about neuroscience and brain medicine — feels surprisingly refreshing.

I Am Human is a moving trio of narratives about people who are trying to overcome serious physical limitations with cutting-edge brain science. The debut feature from Taryn Southern and Elena...

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Here are the winners of the 2019 Nebula Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is holding its Nebula Awards conference in Los Angeles this weekend, and tonight, the group announced the winners of the 2019 Nebula Awards, which honor the best science fiction and fantasy writing from 2018.

Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, the first installment of her Lady Astronaut series, took home the top honor. The novel (and its companion, The Fated Sky) are set in an alternate history in which an asteroid landed off the coast of North America in 1953, setting off a climate catastrophe. To prevent the extinction of the human race, various nations around the world kick-start an alternate space race to colonize the Solar System before it’s too late.

The book’s central...

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Valve is making Dota 2 players pay to avoid toxic gamers

Dota 2 is no longer free to play if you want to have the best experience. In this year’s Dota 2 “Battle Pass” — a premium subscription that usually offers cosmetics and other optional curiosities to the game — Valve bundled one of the most important features it has ever created. Players who buy the Battle Pass can now use an “experimental” Avoid Player feature, which is supposed to keep toxic players away from you. Here’s a different way to say it: Valve is now charging players a minimum of $9.99 to avoid harassers.

I’m glad to see that Valve is finally taking more steps to address its toxic player community and protect Dota 2 players from the worst of the bunch. But it’s telling that the company sees this as an add-on, and not part of...

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A Memory Called Empire is a brilliant blend of cyberpunk, space opera,

In Arkady Martine’s debut novel, A Memory Called Empire, Ambassador Mahit Dzmare, an emissary from the distant Lsel Station, is called to the center of the vast Teixcalaanli Empire after her predecessor winds up dead. As she begins to understand the ins and outs of her new role, she also has to figure out how to keep her home station from being absorbed into the Empire, and what happened to her predecessor. Author Martine lays out a fantastic look at how a society’s memory steers cultural and political events, and offers a meditation on the lengths people will go to be free.

The novel is set in the very distant future: humanity has spread throughout the stars, traveling from system to system by way of a stargate-style network. That’s...

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