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Disney+ will fix The Simpsons’ joke-destroying 16:9 aspect ratio sta

The Simpsons

With the launch of Disney+ this week, many fans were excited to have easy access to all 30 seasons of The Simpsons — only to find to their chagrin that their original 4:3 aspect ratio had been discarded for a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, cropping out many visual gags entirely. But now, Disney says that it will be fixing this in “early 2020” by making an additional version of the first 19 seasons in 4:3, the way they were intended to be viewed.

Here’s Disney’s statement:

“We presented “The Simpsons” in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the...

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With new APIs, Sony’s robot dog could be the smart home assistant yo

Image: Sony

Sony says you can now use a web-based API to program its adorable Aibo robot dog to do new tricks — and you might even be able to make it your smart home’s best friend.

With its new “aibo Developer Program,” Sony is inviting developers to make “services and applications” that can work with Aibo. I didn’t really understand what that meant until I saw this incredible concept video of what might be possible with the new APIs. Aibo helped monitor a microwave, turn on a robot vacuum, remind a child that she had left the fridge open, and... act as surveillance camera for the child’s mom?

Who needs Alexa — a robot dog might be able to help you out around the house instead!

To create simpler tasks, there’s “aibo Visual Programming,” which lets...

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Redbox agrees to stop selling Disney download codes

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Redbox has agreed to stop reselling Disney movies’ digital download codes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The agreement settles a lawsuit Disney filed over the practice in December 2017.

Redbox maintains agreements with film distribution companies like Warner Brothers, which provide Redbox with discs that Redbox then rents out to customers. However, Disney doesn’t have an agreement with Redbox, so Redbox was forced to purchase Disney movies elsewhere in order to offer the films for rent.

Disney often bundles DVDs and Blu-rays with digital download codes. Redbox would sell those download codes at cheaper prices than other download retailers like iTunes. Disney filed a lawsuit against this practice, saying that it violated the...

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YouTube beauty guru James Charles is launching a makeup competition sh

James Charles is one of the most influential beauty creators on YouTube, and he’s using his platform to try to find YouTube’s next beauty guru through a four-part YouTube Original series.

The show, which is operating under the working title James Charles Instant Influencer, is akin to other fashion and beauty reality series, like Project Runway. Six contestants will be featured, with the winner taking home the grand prize of $50,000. Like all reality shows, though, the exposure Charles will give each beauty vlogger on his channel can help boost their careers on YouTube.

Launching in 2020, James Charles Instant Influencer will be available to watch directly on his channel (which has just over 16 million subscribers) on a weekly basis and...

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John Legere reportedly won’t become WeWork’s next CEO

John Legere 2017 stock Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Turning around the mess that is WeWork isn’t going to be up to John Legere. According to CNBC, the current T-Mobile CEO does not intend to take the chief executive role, despite rumors earlier this week that WeWork was strongly pursuing him.

Legere “has no plans” to depart T-Mobile as it nears completion of its merger with Sprint, CNBC says. Both the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission have greenlit the combined mega-carrier, but it still faces one final challenge: numerous state attorneys general are attempting to block the deal with a lawsuit.

Through his brash presentation style and a series of “Uncarrier” customer initiatives, Legere is credited for helming T-Mobile’s impressive comeback from a stagnant fourth...

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TikTok begins testing links in bios

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

TikTok has more than a billion users on its platform, and it appears the company is now experimenting with ways for it and its users to monetize their audiences on the app. Recently, TikTok has begun a limited test of a feature that lets users add links to their bios and posts, which can direct audiences to products or services. Judging by a video of the service in action posted by Fabian Bern, a marketer, it looks like audiences can purchase products featured in videos directly from the videos themselves.

Influencers make their money from their audiences, and TikTok making that process more seamless almost certainly means those power users are going to see — and use — the service differently. Currently, the only way to make money on...

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Pokémon Sword and Shield’s camping is perfectly fluffy

Part of the allure of Pokémon games is growing attached to each new creature you catch. Games like Pokémon X and Y, Sun and Moon, and Let’s Go incorporate some sort of bonding, from giving your pals a good pat to feeding and cleaning them up. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, downtime doesn’t just happen with one member of your team; it happens with the whole gang at once with the game’s camping feature.

When you’re out in the wild and between towns, camping is an easy way to quickly revive and refresh your party. Sword and Shield feature a curry cooking option where you choose from berries and other food items you’ve collected to create new recipes. Once you’ve laid out your ingredients, you fan campfire flames and stir the pot via motion...

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Twitter’s political ad ban provides little oversight for fossil fuel

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Under Twitter’s new ad policy, environmental groups and fossil fuel companies alike won’t be allowed to run ads with “the primary goal of driving political, judicial, legislative, or regulatory outcomes.” The company will also place restrictions on ads aimed at educating or raising awareness on issues like climate change.

The new details on cause-based advertising were released today after Twitter’s initial announcement last month that it would end all political advertising on its platform. That decision raised alarm bells for environmental advocates who are concerned that the new ban would give an advantage to fossil fuel companies that could continue to promote their products and views unencumbered by the restrictions.

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Airbnb will add more oversight to its Experiences program

Airbnb is announcing new guidelines for its Experiences program, including more screening for risky or specialized experiences. Its rules are meant to improve the safety and quality of the program, which supplements Airbnb’s short-term rentals with paid activities like walking tours, scuba diving, and mushroom foraging.

According to a statement, the company aims to make all experiences “100 percent verified,” repeating a promise it previously made for rental listings. It doesn’t explain precisely what verification will entail, but the process includes looking at information from guests. Airbnb is also expanding the list of activities that are considered “technically specialized.” Hosts of technically specialized experiences need to...

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The Supreme Court will hear Google and Oracle’s nearly decade-long c

Illustration by Alex Castro

The US Supreme Court will take up a long-running copyright lawsuit between Oracle and Google, it confirmed today. This lets Google contest a controversial ruling that could deal a major blow to software development by establishing that companies can deny access to basic code elements through copyright law. No date has been set for a trial.

Oracle has claimed for years that Google’s Android operating system is built on stolen code from the Java software platform. Google argues that it fairly developed its own alternative to Java code. Lower courts have sided with Google, but the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned their decisions multiple times. It’s concluded that companies can copyright application programming interface...

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