• Reddit seems to be back after crashing as GME soared
    by Mitchell Clark on February 24, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The VergeReddit seems to be recovering after what its status page called a “major outage”. For about an hour, users who tried to load the site as it was down were met with a blank white page. The site seems to have gone down after GameStop stock shot up 100 percent in late hours of trading on Wednesday. One of Reddit’s most controversial communities, r/WallStreetBets, has championed the stock and was intensely active after the surge. At the moment, it’s unclear if the two are related, but the subreddit seemed to be getting a lot of heavy traffic right before Reddit began crashing. Screenshot: The Verge Beautiful, minimalistic design.As of 5PM ET, the site seems to be reliably accessible, if a bit slow to respond. D... Continue reading…

  • This browser extension shows what the Internet would look like without Big Tech
    by Mitchell Clark on February 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

    The Economic Security Project is trying to make a point about big tech monopolies by releasing a browser plugin that will block any sites that reach out to IP addresses owned by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Amazon. The extension is called Big Tech Detective, and after using the internet with it for a day (or, more accurately, trying and failing to use), I’d say it drives home the point that it’s almost impossible to avoid these companies on the modern web, even if you try. Currently, the app has to be side-loaded onto Chrome, and the Economic Security Project expects that will remain the case. It’s also available to side-load onto Firefox. By default, it just keeps track of how many requests are sent, and to which companies. If you... Continue reading…

  • Elon Musk says Starlink internet speeds will double to 300Mbps this year
    by Mitchell Clark on February 23, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Image: SpaceXStarlink, SpaceX’s satellite-based internet provider, will double in speed “later this year”, according to a tweet by Elon Musk, posted as a reply to someone who had just received their Starlink beta kit (via CNET). The company currently promises speeds between 50 to 150Mbps, and Musk specifically calls out a 300Mbps goal in his tweet. While 300Mbps isn’t unheard-of speed, it’s faster than many people currently have access to, especially in the low-to-medium population density areas that Musk talks about targeting in a second tweet. Speed will double to ~300Mb/s & latency will drop to ~20ms later this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2021 Most of Earth by end of year, all by next year, then it’s about densifying... Continue reading…

  • Comcast is yet again delaying its data cap rollout to 12 states, this time until 2022
    by Mitchell Clark on February 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    If you live in one of the last states where Comcast hasn’t rolled out its data caps, you’re getting another reprieve: the company has announced that it’s now pushing back the rollout to some time in 2022 (via Ars Technica). The 1.2TB data caps, which incur extra charges if users go over them, were originally slated to roll out in March but were then delayed until July. Comcast hasn’t said specifically when next year the rollout would occur. “We are providing them with more time to become familiar with the new plan.” These caps will be familiar if you don’t live in Comcast’s Northeast region, which consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, West... Continue reading…

  • Watch NASA’s 360-degree Mars landing broadcast from the best seat in the house
    by Mitchell Clark on February 18, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    NASA landed a rover on Mars today, and if you’re looking for a different perspective than the traditional live stream, the space agency also provided the scene from inside Mission Control — in an immersive 360 degrees. You can look around to watch people as they go about their work, but there are also big virtual screens displaying multiple other views, including NASA’s other live stream. It might be the best way to experience the landing because you’ll get it all simultaneously. The stream includes interviews with key mission staff who explain the purpose of today’s landing as well as some of the technical jargon that was thrown around once Perseverance began its descent, (which culminated in a successful landing)! Mars Landing LIVE... Continue reading…

  • Zillow’s 3D Home app can now use AI to guess the size of your house
    by Ian Carlos Campbell on February 17, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Image: ZillowZillow’s 3D Home app can now generate home floor plans based on scans a user uploads, the company announced today. The new feature, powered by the company’s artificial intelligence technology, is available today in the Zillow 3D Home app and could prove useful for people looking to relocate during the pandemic — or just anyone fantasizing about living in a mansion in Nebraska. Zillow 3D Home was originally launched in 2019 as a way to offer customers a more immersive way to view listings on its site and real estate agents and property managers an easier way to create them. Using a phone or a 360° camera and the Zillow 3D Home app, you can upload a series of photographs that the app can stitch into a 3D tour. It’s not quite the same as... Continue reading…

  • Microsoft Edge won’t show you notification requests other people don’t like
    by Mitchell Clark on February 16, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Image: MicrosoftMicrosoft is trying a new solution for the persistent “would you like to allow notifications from this website” requests that you see across the internet: crowdsourcing data on which ones people block and which ones they allow. According to a blog post today, Microsoft is calling this feature adaptive notification requests, and the company is rolling it out in Edge 88 after it received positive feedback from testers. For an example of how this works, say there’s a website that commonly asks for notifications, and nobody wants them. They’ll either ignore the request or click the block button to make sure they never see it again. Microsoft then collects that data and will stop showing new users the notification request in the future. ... Continue reading…

  • Microsoft Edge is getting a Kids Mode to add ‘guardrails’ to browsing the web
    by Ian Carlos Campbell on February 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The VergeMicrosoft is updating its Edge browser with a Kids Mode that should make browsing safer and more customizable, in a kid-friendly way. The feature is not widely available, but it’s being rolled out to Edge Insiders in Microsoft’s Canary test channel, with the feature coming to the dev channel soon after. Kids Mode can be enabled by selecting it from the Profile picker in Microsoft Edge, not dissimilar from using a similar Kids profile in a streaming service. Browsing in Kids Mode enables several features. Kids Mode comes with custom browser themes, Bing SafeSearch enabled to keep kids away from “adult” search results, and an allow list that parents can use to set appropriate websites. The allow list comes predefined in Edge, according to... Continue reading…

  • You shouldn’t have to publicly humiliate AT&T to get usable internet
    by Mitchell Clark on February 13, 2021 at 2:16 am

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The VergeEarlier this month, Aaron Epstein spent $10,000 to buy an ad in The Wall Street Journal to tell AT&T’s CEO he wasn’t happy with his internet service — service that was limited to a paltry 3Mbps (via Ars Technica). Now, AT&T has him hooked up with a fiber connection, and he’s getting over 300 Mbps up and down. All it took was getting interviewed by Ars, the ad going viral on Twitter, and a Stephen Colbert mention. In his ad, the North Hollywood, CA resident says he’s been an AT&T customer for 60 years (and backs it up with a @pacbell.net email address), and says he’s disappointed that the company isn’t keeping up with competitors when it comes to his area’s internet. Less than two weeks later, AT&T techs had him hooked up, though the... Continue reading…

  • PSA: eBay might not let you sell items without a bank account starting Valentine’s Day
    by Sean Hollister on February 13, 2021 at 2:07 am

    In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion, turning it into the way you’d buy and get paid for items you sell on the ginormous auction site. But the once-happy couple has been breaking up for years — and on Valentine’s Day, some sellers may no longer be able to sell items on eBay at all without connecting an old-school bank account instead. This morning, I received a final warning that I would need to add a bank account by February 14th or else “your ability to revise or relist existing listings, or create new listings will be disabled.” eBay tells The Verge this isn’t the deadline for every seller — it’s rolling out in phases, and a quick scan of the web shows it’s been going on for at least a couple years. This isn’t... Continue reading…