22 predictions for social media in 2019

22 predictions for social media in 2019

Just like that, 2018 has come to a close. I realize there are a few days left in the year, but the content industry is already well into its cycle of recaps and predictions, and readers can be forgiven if they would like to their attention to more festive matters to close out the year. Personally, I have a lot of shopping to do — but I’ll also be spending the time planning 2019. It’s…

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Hyperloop startup Arrivo is shutting down as workers are laid off

Hyperloop startup Arrivo is shutting down as workers are laid off

Futuristic transportation startup Arrivo shut down its operations this week, The Verge has learned. All of the company’s 30 or so employees were furloughed in late November, with about half being completely laid off at the end of that month, according to two employees who were granted anonymity because they signed non-disclosure agreements. Now, the Los Angeles startup is shutting down because it hasn’t been able to secure new funding, these people say. Remaining employees…

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Alexa can now arm your home security system — including Amazon’s Ring Alarm

Alexa can now arm your home security system — including Amazon’s Ring Alarm

You would think that Amazon’s Ring home security system and Amazon’s Echo smart speakers would intelligently work together, right? You’d be mostly wrong — but today, the company is taking another small step towards tying them together by letting you arm, disarm, and check the status of some Ring, ADT, Honeywell, Abode, and Scout security systems just by asking Alexa to do so. And since I recently bought a Ring Alarm for my own house…

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Facebook fractures its secretive hardware division

Facebook fractures its secretive hardware division

Roughly a year and a half ago, Regina Dugan, a former director for the US government’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, took the stage at Facebook’s F8 developer conference. There, she told the audience that Facebook was working on brain-computer interfaces that might one day let you type with your thoughts. It was a bold proclamation, and it helped at the time paint a picture of Facebook as a risk-taking, moonshot-hunting Silicon Valley juggernaut in…

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Google is selling the Home Hub and two Home Mini speakers for just $129

Google is selling the Home Hub and two Home Mini speakers for just $129

Google just launched an aggressive deal that might be all many people need to outfit their house or apartment with Google Assistant this holiday season. For a limited time, the company is selling a Home Hub smart display and two Home Mini smart speakers at a total price of $129. The Hub ordinarily retails for $149, with the speakers going for $49 each. Obviously both products have been discounted at times during the holiday season…

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Bruce Springsteen’s Netflix special makes this a great weekend for The Indian Runner

Bruce Springsteen’s Netflix special makes this a great weekend for The Indian Runner

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend. What to watch The Indian Runner, Sean Penn’s 1991 debut as a writer…

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Amazon’s Echo Wall Clock now shipping for $30

Amazon’s Echo Wall Clock now shipping for $30

Amazon’s $29.99 Echo Wall Clock is now here to complete the set of minimalist Alexa devices (including a smart microwave and outlet plug) that the company announced earlier this year. Like some of those other products, the analog Wall Clock doesn’t actually have a mic for Alexa built in; it’s meant for those who already own an Echo. If you do, you can have it display timers, alarms, and reminders through voice commands. The Echo…

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All I want for Christmas is this twerking Alexa-enabled bear

The company behind the Alexa-enabled Big Mouth Billy Bass has created the most Spencer’s Gift-y item of them all: an Alexa-enabled twerking bear that dances to music and lip-syncs responses. It comes in three variations — Twerking Bear, Twerking Bear (seasonal), and Santa — all of which sell for $40. It’s a small price to pay for an animated plush that cheerfully lip-syncs responses to your questions, in addition to handling timers, alarms, reminders, and…

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Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out

Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out

E-cigarette users’ pee contains more heavy metals as well as signs of exposure to carcinogens and other irritating chemicals than the pee of non-vapers, hinting that the habit might come with serious health risks. At the same time, vapers who switched completely from cigarettes still had lower levels of these substances in their urine than their smoking peers, new research says. The study, published today in the journal JAMA Network Open, didn’t measure the risks…

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Federal court freezes Faraday Future CEO’s ownership stake, California mansions

Federal court freezes Faraday Future CEO’s ownership stake, California mansions

A federal US District judge in California has temporarily frozen Faraday Future CEO Jia Yueting’s ownership stake in the company, and put a protective order on the mansions he owns in California, according to new court documents filed Thursday. It’s the second freeze placed on Jia’s ownership stake in the company in the last two weeks. The decision comes at a time when the EV startup is nearly completely out of cash after a months-long…

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