• US Cyber Command has reportedly been aggressively targeting Russia’s electrical grid
    by Andrew Liptak on June 15, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    The United States Cyber Command has made a number of incursions into Russia’s electrical infrastructure in recent months, according to a new report in The New York Times. Officials that the publication spoke with characterized the moves as a warning to Russia that the US is willing to operate more aggressively in this arena to deter potential cyberattacks. According to the Times, “officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets.” One senior intelligence official told the Times that “it has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year,” and that they are “doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago.” The efforts amount to what is... Continue reading […]

  • Twitter is bringing back its Mac desktop app
    by Andrew Liptak on June 15, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    A little over a year after discontinuing its Mac desktop app, Twitter says that it’s bringing the program back after Apple unveiled Project Catalyst for macOS 10.15 Catalina. It explained why it decided to drop the app last year. Twitter made the announcement during Apple’s WWDC conference last week, saying that the app would launch with Catalina this fall, and that this new version will have a variety of features like dark mode, keyboard shortcuts, multiple windows, and notifications. In February 2018, Twitter pulled the application from Apple’s App Store after a history of sporadic updates, and recommended that people simply use the web version. In its post yesterday, it also provides a bit more of an explanation for why the original... Continue reading […]

  • XOXO shut down its subscription platform before it launched
    by Andrew Liptak on June 15, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Last October, Kickstarter announced that it was ending its subscriber-based crowdfunding platform, Drip, but that it was planning a successor project with XOXO festival creators Andy Baio and Andy McMillan. Now, that project has been shut down, according to its creators. Drip’s unnamed successor project was designed to provide “financial stability and transparency to independent artists.” It came out of conversations from Kickstarter founder Perry Chen and Baio, Kickstarter’s former CTO, with the intention of migrating Drip creators over to it before shutting it down later this year. Kickstarter provided seed funding for the new platform, and Baio and McMillan had brought on people to develop and run the company, but explained that... Continue reading […]

  • Magic for Liars blends magic school with a murder mystery
    by Chaim Gartenberg on June 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Magic school clashes with a murder mystery in Magic for Liars, the debut novel from Sarah Gailey, best known for their American Hippo short stories — but with one key twist. That’s because while the school and the murder may be magical, Ivy Gamble, the investigator hired to solve the case, is completely ordinary. Unable to sling a spell or cast a charm, she’s a far more relatable character than most other magical detectives that dot the literary landscape. Spoilers for the book ahead. Image: When we first meet Ivy, she’s eking out a living in Oakland tracking down cheating husbands, dodging muggers on her doorstep, and drinking her way through the local bar scene. Then she’s offered the chance to solve a... Continue reading […]

  • Aggretsuko’s second season introduces meddling moms and psychotic colleagues
    by Dami Lee on June 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Netflix’s Aggretsuko was a surprise breakout hit last year, considering it was a Sanrio property that got unexpectedly real about sexism in the workplace and millennial anxieties. The second season is streaming now, and it’s as hilarious and painfully relatable as ever. While the first season introduced us to Retsuko, the 25-year-old red panda who deals with the stress of her power-tripping boss through death metal karaoke, season 2 finds her settling into her job and being given the responsibility of training a new co-worker — who turns out to be more than she can handle. One of Aggretsuko’s many strengths comes from its character design and the stylized animation that delightfully serve as the joke itself. Facial expressions and... Continue reading […]

  • 7 new trailers you should watch this week
    by Jacob Kastrenakes on June 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Sometimes it’s nice when a film just gets your mind racing with ideas, even if what’s happening on screen isn’t necessarily the most flooring thing. That’s how I felt watching a couple of films over the past week, Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation, a pair of the earliest (and only, really) mumblecore movies. There’s a lot I like about both films, but there’s a lot about them that’s just... kind of boring, pretty much by nature of the type of films they are. People talk, stutter, um and uh. Plots are nonexistent, goals are aimless. I love the vibe, but it’s easy to just tune out and let your mind wander as conversations awkwardly stumble on. At the same time, that’s also what’s wonderful about them. There’s a very unique feeling of... Continue reading […]

  • Amazon shut down Amazon Spark, its discovery shopping feature
    by Andrew Liptak on June 15, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Amazon has shut down its social network-like feature on its site and app called Amazon Spark, in which Prime customers could post pictures of the products they’ve bought, according to TechCrunch. The company launched the service for Prime members in 2017. It prompted customers to pick a selection of interests in the section in the feature, and would then show you a feed of posts from users that related to those interests. The service seemed to be designed to replicate influencers using social networks like Instagram and Pinterest. Users could react to posts with a “smile” or a comment. TechCrunch noted that the site felt “too transactional” as compared to other social networks and never really took off. The page for the feature is no... Continue reading […]

  • Google’s loud Home Max speaker is $40 off for Verge readers
    by Cameron Faulkner on June 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Google’s Home Max is the biggest, most powerful smart speaker that it makes. This weekend, Daily Steals is offering readers of The Verge an exclusive deal that takes $40 off of its $299.99 price. The cheapest price is $259.99 right now, though it’s not the only retailer discounting this speaker. Google Store, Best Buy, and B&H Photo, to name a few, are selling it for $269.99. If you choose to purchase a Google Home Max through Daily Steals, you’ll get a brand-new unit that comes with a one-year warranty. Both the “chalk” and “charcoal” color variants are available, so take your pick. Just be sure to enter the code VERGEMAX at checkout. No matter where you buy from online this weekend, your shipment won’t arrive before Father’s Day.... Continue reading […]

  • 11 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out in late June
    by Andrew Liptak on June 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    With the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings coming up next month, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the vast canon of Apollo histories that are out there. There has been of ink spilled in the last five decades exploring every detail of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, and there are more on the way. A handful of works stand out in the history of spaceflight literature. The first is a pair of books authored by Francis French and Colin Burgess: Into that Silent Sea, about NASA’s work leading up to Apollo, and In the Shadow of the Moon, about the Apollo program up to Apollo 11. They’re part of the University of Nebraska Press’s fantastic Outward Odyssey series, and provide an accessible, in-depth look at how the US reached... Continue reading […]

  • The Black Shark 2’s pressure-sensitive screen makes mobile gaming better
    by Cameron Faulkner on June 15, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    It makes PUBG, and other games with complex controls, easier Continue reading […]

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