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The Verge - All Posts 2021-05-28T18:47:28-04:00 2021-05-28T18:47:28-04:00 2021-05-28T18:47:28-04:00 Venmo leaked Joe Biden’s friends, but you can now keep yours a secret
Venmo stock
Image: Venmo

Venmo has added new privacy controls for friend lists following a jaw-dropping incident where BuzzFeed News was able to track down President Joe Biden’s Venmo account because of the app’s leaky privacy protocols. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered earlier on Friday that Venmo was working on the new controls.

“We’re consistently evolving and strengthening the Venmo platform for all of our customers. As part of these ongoing efforts, we are enhancing our in-app controls providing customers an option to select a public, friends-only, or private setting for their friends list,” a Venmo spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.

To find the new controls, tap the hamburger icon while on the main feed, then tap “Settings,”...

Continue reading… Jay Peters
2021-05-28T18:19:14-04:00 2021-05-28T18:19:14-04:00 Apple delays Podcasts subscriptions to June
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple is delaying the launch of its upcoming Podcasts subscriptions until June, the company announced in an email sent to creators Friday (via 9to5Mac). The service was previously set to launch this month.

Apple’s Podcasts subscriptions will allow people to subscribe to participating podcasts to get extra perks like ad-free listening or early access to episodes. In April, Apple said the subscriptions would launch in 170 countries, and that initial partners include Pushkin Industries and NPR.

The shifted launch comes as some creators using Apple Podcasts have recently run into some issues, such as being unable to log in to Apple’s Podcast Connect portal or seeing a delay in the availability of new episodes. In its email sent Friday, Apple...

Continue reading… Jay Peters
2021-05-28T17:00:00-04:00 2021-05-28T17:00:00-04:00 Ladies and gentlemen, the weekendgelion
Saturday Night Live - Season 45
Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

You have reached a significant moment, perhaps not in history, or even in the grand scheme of your life’s long arc toward love and fulfillment, but a significant moment nonetheless. Do I need to spell it out for you? It’s 5PM. On a Friday. Heading into a long weekend.

What is a “weekendgelion,” you may be asking? Obviously it’s the portmanteau of “weekend” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” You could have just Googled that, but I understand — it’s your time off! I respect your commitment to doing the bare minimum for the next three days. What does a beloved ‘90s anime series have to do with, as the above video’s creator...

Continue reading… Bryan Menegus
2021-05-28T16:59:04-04:00 2021-05-28T16:59:04-04:00 Twitter could be working on Facebook-style reactions
Illustration by Alex Castro

Twitter could be adding some new emojis to augment its formerly star-shaped, currently heart-shaped Like button, according to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. The assets Wong found — which have been reliable predictions of future features in the past — show “cheer,” “hmm,” “sad,” and “haha” emoji reactions, though some currently only have a placeholder emoji.

Facebook has had a similar set of reactions since 2016. But Wong’s leak shows that Twitter could be taking a slightly different path when it comes to which moods it wants users to express: while it has laughing and sad expressions in common with Facebook, Twitter may also include a makes-you-think and cheer option. Twitter doesn’t seem to have the “angry” expression that Facebook...

Continue reading… Mitchell Clark
2021-05-28T16:27:33-04:00 2021-05-28T16:27:33-04:00 WhatsApp reverses course, now won’t limit functionality if you don’t accept its new privacy policy
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Earlier this month, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said that users would lose functionality over time if they didn’t accept its new privacy policy by May 15th. In a reversal, Facebook now says that plan has changed, and users who don’t accept the updated policy actually won’t see limited functionality (via TNW).

“Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. WhatsApp tells The Verge that this is the plan moving forward indefinitely.

The rollout of the policy has been a...

Continue reading… Jay Peters
2021-05-28T16:17:48-04:00 2021-05-28T16:17:48-04:00 UK police surprised to learn energy-intensive weed farm is actually a Bitcoin mine
Image: West Midlands Police

Police in the United Kingdom raided an industrial unit outside Birmingham under suspicion it was housing an indoor marijuana growing operation, CNBC reported. They were surprised to discover instead an extensive Bitcoin mining setup which was illegally siphoning electricity from a mains supply.

Prior to the raid, police observed multiple people going in and out of the building throughout the day, and spotted extensive ventilation and wiring. They also claim a drone was able to detect high amounts of heat coming off the building. Because indoor cannabis farms use systems of grow lights, heating, and ventilation to cultivate plants where they might not usually flourish, police believed they were looking at “classic signs” of a clandestine...

Continue reading… Ian Carlos Campbell
2021-05-28T15:43:52-04:00 2021-05-28T15:43:52-04:00 Just over a week after relaunching verification, Twitter is pausing verification
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitter relaunched its verification program last week, allowing anyone to apply for a blue check mark, but the company is pausing accepting new applications because of the volume of applications it has already received.

“We’re rolling in verification requests,” the company said in a tweet. “So we gotta hit pause on accepting any more for now while we review the ones that have been submitted. We’ll reopen requests soon! (we pinky swear)”

When it officially opened the program for applications on May 20th, the company cautioned that the timeline for requests could stretch out. “Once you submit your application, you can expect an emailed response from us within a few days, but this could take up to a few weeks depending on how many open...

Continue reading… Jay Peters
2021-05-28T15:00:24-04:00 2021-05-28T15:00:24-04:00 Elizabeth Holmes’ lawyers want to know how often jurors blog
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes...
Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The lawyers of Elizabeth Holmes, ex-CEO of disgraced blood testing startup Theranos, have 112 questions for prospective jurors at Holmes’ fraud trial — including how often they check social media and whether they subscribe to Netflix.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, Holmes’ attorneys have just filed a proposed jury questionnaire for her upcoming fraud trial. The extremely detailed 45-page document outlines every possible way Holmes fears a jury could be biased, and part of that apparently involves gauging exactly how online each juror is. Among other questions, jurors are asked:

  • “Do you have an account on any social media platforms? If yes, please identify the platform(s).”
  • “How frequently do you use the platform(s) listed above?”...

Continue reading… Adi Robertson
2021-05-28T15:00:12-04:00 2021-05-28T15:00:12-04:00 Social media companies, here are some free theme park ideas to comply with Florida’s deplatforming law
Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

The Verge is deeply invested in doing service journalism; we report on companies’ misdeeds, we review expensive products to tell you whether they’re worth your hard-earned money, and speak to industry leaders to get their insights on the issues affecting their companies and their customers.

It is in that vein that we brainstormed some ideas for social media theme parks in Florida.

See, the Sunshine State passed a law this week that blocks social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter from “knowingly” deplatforming politicians and even algorithmically ranking content, with fine ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 per day (The law, which is a mish-mash of broad speech regulations, has already been challenged in court by the tech...

Continue reading… Verge Staff
2021-05-28T14:54:02-04:00 2021-05-28T14:54:02-04:00 Why on Earth did Amazon spend $8 billion on a zombie studio?
MGM Studios
In this photo illustration, screens display the old and new logos of MGM Studios. | Photo by Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Amazon just dumped an $8 billion-plus chunk of change on MGM, a studio best known for James Bond and its logo of a roaring lion. The acquisition offers an opportunity for Amazon to spin the spy films into a big perk for its streaming services. But it’s hard to believe that dropping billions for the studio’s content library is actually going to prop up Amazon’s streaming services — at least on its own.

Amazon already has a fully functioning studio arm that produces content for its Prime Video service. While it’s got a few hits here and there — Jack Ryan immediately comes to mind — Amazon has, for the most part, struggled to reach the Stranger Things-level of viewer enthusiasm that its rivals often enjoy. The company also owns IMDb TV, a...

Continue reading… Catie Keck

Prnymity = Privacy & Anonymity