Facial recognition software used to verify unemployment recipients reportedly doesn’t work well

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The facial recognition program used by nearly two dozen US states to to verify people seeking unemployment benefits is working inconsistently, leading to many people being denied benefits or having their applications put on hold, Motherboard reported.
The identity verification service ID.me is intended to help reduce unemployment fraud, and uses biometric data and official documents to verify people. But according to Motherboard, some who have applied for unemployment have reported that ID.me has failed to identify them correctly, and that they have had difficulty reaching someone at ID.me to remedy the problem.
ID.me didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment Saturday, but the company’s CEO Blake Hall told Motherboard in an…
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Google may be working on an answer to Apple’s device-locating network

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google may be working on turning Android phones into a hivemind capable of finding lost devices, similar to Apple’s Find My network, according to analysis done by 9to5Google. A toggle for the feature showed up in a beta of Google Play Services, with code referencing the ability for phones to help locate other devices, potentially signaling that Android phones could soon become easier to find.
According to Google’s support page, the current Find My Device system can only find phones that are powered on, have a data or Wi-Fi signal, and have location services enabled. At this early stage, it’s unclear which, if any, of those limitations the relay network feature — apparently called Spot — would solve, but when you’re looking for a lost…
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New Oculus Quest update adds multitasking and wireless streaming for original headset

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Facebook is rolling out its v30 update to the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets. As previewed earlier this week by Mark Zuckerberg, v30 includes a new multitasking interface for Infinite Office that lets you put multiple apps side by side, including the browser, Oculus TV, Oculus Move, the store, and so on.
Like many new Oculus Quest features, it’ll be found in the Experimental section of the settings menu at first. Once multitasking is enabled, apps can be dragged up from the menu bar or the apps library and snapped into position.
The v30 update also enables Air Link for the original Quest headset. Air Link came to the Quest 2 in April and allows you to stream VR games from your PC to your headset wirelessly, as opposed to Oculus…
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Leica phone announced by SoftBank in Japan

SoftBank has announced a Leica-branded phone for the Japanese market. Leica has lent its name to phone camera systems before, but this Leitz Phone 1 is the first time the Leica brand and iconic red dot has taken precedence on a smartphone.
The camera system is of course going to be paramount for a device like this, and the hardware here is certainly unusual. There’s a single 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor — the biggest in any phone — with a 19mm-equivalent f/1.9 ultrawide lens, meaning other focal lengths need to use digital zoom.
If that sounds familiar, well, Sharp announced the exact same thing a month ago. The Aquos R6 has the same Leica-branded camera system — though the Leitz Phone 1 makes it look a lot bigger — and other specs like…
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Sony reportedly plans PSVR successor for next holiday season

Sony’s next-gen VR controllers. | Image: Sony Sony’s next-gen PlayStation VR headset is likely to come out in late 2022, according to a new report. Bloomberg’s sources say Sony is “aiming to release the successor in the holiday period next year,” and that the headset will use OLED panels from Samsung Display.
A release in that timeframe wouldn’t be too surprising, since Sony has already started talking up the PS5 headset’s potential. Its existence was first confirmed in February along with some initial details, and Sony followed up by showing off the new controllers in March.
The headset itself hasn’t yet been revealed. But according to an UploadVR report from last month, it’ll have a total resolution of 4000 x 2040 and make use of eye tracking to enable foveated rendering, which…
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Netflix is producing a ‘fictionalized’ series about Spotify

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Netflix has tapped the original story of one of the music industry’s biggest startup successes for a forthcoming untitled original series. The series will tell a “fictionalized account” of Spotify’s co-founders, including the service’s chief Daniel Ek.
The six-part series — which is already listed on Netflix, though with limited information — will pull from authors Jonas Leijonhufvud and Sven Carlsson, which documents the rise of Spotify under Ek and his business partner Martin Lorentzon, according to Variety. The book is said to have drawn from “over seventy interviews, along with previously untapped sources” for a “David vs Goliath story about how strong convictions, unrelenting willpower, and big dreams can help small players take on…
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Samsung says it hasn’t decided whether to halt Galaxy S21 FE production

An alleged render of the Galaxy S21 FE. | OnLeaks Samsung has downplayed a report that claimed the company has suspended production of an upcoming phone called the Galaxy S21 FE. Korean publication ETNews alleged over the weekend that production of the unannounced phone had stopped because of a shortage of semiconductors, and that Qualcomm processors had been reallocated to foldable devices.
The report has since been deleted, and Samsung now says it hasn’t made a decision on whether to halt production. In a statement texted to Bloomberg, the company says “While we cannot discuss details of the unreleased product, nothing has been determined regarding the alleged production suspension.”
The Galaxy S21 FE — the FE stands for Fan Edition — was expected to be a cut-down, more affordable…
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The five coolest games from Upload VR’s E3 2021 showcase

Song in the Smoke. Upload VR returned to E3 with its third annual showcase of the most inventive and intriguing games coming to VR. As the medium continues to mature year after year, it continues to be a platform for developers to innovate. While not all of the games shown were brand new announcements, we picked five of our favorites from the showcase that you can look forward to immersing yourself in soon.
Song in the Smoke First announced for PSVR earlier this year, Song in the Smoke is a VR survival game and a departure for developer 17-Bit, better known for cartoony indie games like Skulls of the Shogun and Galak-Z. In a new developer diary, studio CEO Jake Kazdal explains how VR made him want to create not just a game but a fully living and breathing…
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Apple rubberstamped Trump’s request to secretly scoop up data on two members of Congress

The Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s Apple Park headquarters. | Dieter Bohn / The Verge The New York Times is reporting on a new wrinkle in the story of how the Trump administration’s Department of Justice used Big Tech to spy on two members of the House Intelligence Committee in an attempt to track down leaks to the press — namely, that Apple didn’t fight it, perhaps never had a chance to fight it, because the company rubberstamped the request.
Apple didn’t even know it was handing over the records of Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, it told the publication. In a statement, Apple said it didn’t know what the investigation was about, and couldn’t have known unless it dug through user accounts itself. So it was handled like the vast majority of the 250 requests the…
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Tesla delivers the first 25 Model S Plaid sedans

A lucky 25 customers received Tesla’s redesigned Model S “Plaid” at an event hosted by CEO Elon Musk in Fremont, California on Thursday night.
The Silicon Valley automaker has billed this new $130,000 version of the Model S — first announced in January and originally slated to ship in March — as the “quickest production vehicle ever made,” with the ability to go from 0-60mph in under 2 seconds. Its name is a reference to the unthinkable speed beyond “Ludicrous” in the comedy classic Spaceballs. It’s also expected to get around 390 miles of range. (Tesla is selling a less powerful version of the redesigned Model S with more range — 412 miles — that starts at just a hair under $80,000. Deliveries of those start later this year.)
Why so…
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