Smart home platform Wink is finally rolling out its controversial subscription program on July 27th

Smart home platform Wink has announced that it’ll finally roll out its controversial new $4.99-per-month subscription on July 27th, following months of delays. The subscription will put many of the service’s previously free features behind a paywall, including crucial aspects of the service like the ability to update firmware or add new devices.
“Please know that we have adjusted our timelines since our initial announcement on May 6th to allow users more opportunity to make considerations. We were able to extend our service so that subscriptions will now begin on Monday, July 27th, 2020,” reads the latest blog post announcing the delay.
Any users who don’t sign up will see their Wink devices severely limited in what they can do going…
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Go read this Kotaku story about Ubisoft’s pervasive toxic culture

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Over the past few weeks, dozens of people connected to the game industry have shared stories of abuse on Twitter. One company, in particular, Ubisoft, has had multiple allegations leveled against high-ranking employees, including executives Tommy François and Maxime Béland. In a story from Kotaku, Ethan Gach reports that employees of Ubisoft Toronto are speaking up to leadership “with grave concerns about ongoing reported harassment and an inability to feel safe or protected within our own studio” in a letter signed by more than 100 employees.
The report includes several stories about behavior at Ubisoft, including a particularly disturbing incident in which Béland put his hands around a female employee’s neck. Sources describe a culture…
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Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Illustration by Ana Kova Public health experts around the globe are scrambling to understand, track, and contain a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) named the disease caused by the virus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic.
The Verge is regularly updating this page with all of the latest news and analysis.
You can see where and how many cases of the illness have been reported in this map. There are large outbreaks of the disease in multiple places, including Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which currently has the worst outbreak of any country in the world.
As this important…
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This week’s summer gaming events: Ubisoft Forward and Limited Run Games’ #LRG3

Image: Summer Game Fest Even though E3, Gamescom, and other summer gaming events have become online-only or outright canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has already been a lot of gaming news this summer.
We finally know what the PlayStation 5 looks like and some of the games coming to the system, for example, and we’ve been given previews of Cyberpunk 2077, Star Wars: Squadrons, the future of Destiny 2, and more. But there are still more events ahead — including another Xbox digital games showcase, where Microsoft is expected to show Halo Infinite.
This week, you can look forward to Limited Run Games’ #LRG3 event on July 8th, focused on physical game releases, and the Ubisoft Forward event on July 12th, which will feature Ubisoft titles, including A…
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The federal government says Bird got at least a $5 million bailout loan, but the company denies it

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Bird, the beleaguered e-scooter company, received a loan worth between $5 million and $10 million from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in late April. The company said in its application to the Treasury Department and the Small Business Association that the loan would help it retain 341 jobs. But less than a month before, Bird laid off over 400 employees, or about 30 percent of its staff.
But Bird contends that it should not be included in the government’s list. “Bird was erroneously listed as a company that filed for a PPP Loan,” a company spokesperson said. “We did not apply for nor did we receive a PPP Loan. We decided as a company not to file an application as we did not want to divert critical funding from…
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Streaming this week: Babysitters’ Club and The Old Guard on Netflix, Palm Springs on Hulu

Photo: Hulu If you have spent the holiday weekend watching the Hamilton movieon repeat, let’s just say I’m not judging you. At all. Polygon has an interesting analysis about how different the musical is on film.
But if you’re looking for a break from Lin Manuel & co. and want something a little different to watch this week however, there are a few new originals on Netflix and Hulu worth checking out.
The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix, now playing) OK so maybe we’re not quite the target audience for The Baby-Sitters Club, but there is a great deal of nostalgia around this new show based on the beloved Ann M. Martin book series (that’s right, I said “beloved”). Polygon says the production meets the challenge of setting the series in 2020 “updating…
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Go read this Daily Beast story about a new online school Elon Musk helped start

Back in 2015, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he had started a school to teach his five kids, eventually expanding it as a non-profit school for some children of SpaceX employees. He said at the time that his kids’ school wasn’t “doing things I thought should be done,” so he hired away his kids’ teacher to help found the Ad Astra School. It did away with formal grade structures and put a focus on problem solving, per Musk’s direction, and he paid for all the costs involved.
Now, he’s given an initial donation to a new online, for-profit school in Los Angeles, according to an investigation by The Daily Beast. According to business filings uncovered by The Daily Beast, the Astra Nova School, which plans to open in September was…
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9 new trailers to watch this week

Image: Pixar Like seemingly everyone else right now, I watched back through Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time in years (actually, just the second and third seasons since my wife got through most of the first one without me) because it’s come back to Netflix. It’s been really wonderful seeing such a brilliant, funny, epic, and deserving show suddenly getting this widespread recognition.
On (what is probably my fourth) rewatch, what really stood out to me is the incredible attention the show gives to building out vibrant, fascinating cultures throughout its world. The show’s protagonists are constantly traveling, yet even towns and characters that only show up for an episode get distinct traits and humanizing moments. It adds up to a…
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DuckDuckGo reinstated in India after being unreachable since July 1st

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has been restored in India after being unreachable for many users there since July 1st, Android Police reported. Reports about what was causing the outage have varied. Some users reported the Indian government appeared to be behind the block, and others said they were getting what appeared to be DNS lookup errors, according to Android Police.
DuckDuckGo tweeted that the service appeared to be restored in India as of Saturday morning.
We’re seeing our services being broadly restored in India. Thank you for all of your reports, bringing attention to this issue.
If you're still having trouble accessing DuckDuckGo Search, please report it to @internetfreedom using this form: https://t.co/jVYFgXTiV7
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