AT&T to lay off thousands of workers and close 250 stores

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge AT&T has confirmed that it’s cutting thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of stores, Axios reports. While the company has not confirmed the total number of jobs affected, the cuts reportedly include 3,400 technician and clerical jobs as well as managerial and executive roles. And 250 retail locations will be closed, including both AT&T and Cricket Wireless branded stores, the Communication Workers of America confirmed — although AT&T said most of these employees will be offered alternative jobs at the company.
Although AT&T said that the store closures had been planned previously, the pandemic has reportedly caused it to bring these plans forward. The company also blamed “changed customer behaviors” for its decision in a statement…
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Cheap steroid reportedly improves survival for severe COVID-19 cases

Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images A cheap, common steroid improves survival rates for COVID-19 patients on ventilators, according to a press release from the research team. The drug, called dexamethasone, reduced deaths by one-third in patients on ventilators, and by one-fifth in patients who needed supplemental oxygen, according to the team. It did not help patients who were able to breathe on their own.
Steroids like dexamethasone blunt inflammation in the body. Researchers think that some patients with severe cases of COVID-19 have dangerously high levels of inflammation as part of an overactive immune response to the virus and that calming that down with an anti-inflammatory like dexamethasone could help ease their symptoms. That’s also why people shouldn’t take…
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UK’s Triumph Motorcycles introduces its first electric bike

Triumph, the premium British motorcycle brand most preferred by James Bond, is out with a new two-wheeler of a different sort. The Trekker GT is the world-famous motorcycle maker’s first electric bicycle, and, at first glance, it appears to be a highly capable commuter model. It won’t be cheap, though: the bike will be going on sale in Europe, the UK, and the US for £2,950 ($3,318).
The bike has a minimalist design, with much of the battery, wiring, and drivetrain tucked inside the hydro-formed, lightweight aluminum frame. Triumph says the Trekker GT is “perfect all-road choice for commuting, fitness and everyday riding fun” — although we’d have to test it before we could agree.
A minimalist design Triumph outfitted its first e-bike…
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Amazon’s Echo Studio is $30 off and includes a free Philips Hue bulb

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Amazon’s Echo Studio is its first great-sounding smart speaker, and you can get it for $170 today. That’s $30 off its regular price, which we only saw happen once before a few months ago. What makes this deal even better than that one is you can get a free Philips Hue white ambiance bulb for no extra charge. Since the Echo Studio uses the Zigbee standard for Internet of Things devices, you won’t need a Hue Bridge to use the bulb.
Where the Echo Studio holds its own compared to Amazon’s other smart speakers is with sound quality. It’s massive compared to the Echo and Echo Dot, so you can expect bigger sound, and it supports Amazon’s 3D audio format that adds extra layers to the sound of music to amp up immersion. What’s also notable about…
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EA announces Star Wars: Squadrons, a new first-person starfighter dogfighting game

EA has announced a new Star Wars game, Star Wars: Squadrons, a first-person space combat game that will have players flying the series’s famous starfighters in head-to-head single-player and multiplayer battles.
Developed by Motive Montreal (which previously contributed to both Battlefront II and Anthem), Squadrons will let players fly a variety of Star Wars ships, including the X-Wing, A-Wing, Y-Wing, U-Wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, and TIE Reaper fighters.
EA won’t be revealing gameplay until the company’s EA Play Live event on June 18th at 4PM PT / 7PM ET, but it promises a variety of multiplayer modes, including “Fleet Battles,” where the goal is to work with your teammates to destroy a capital ship, as well as…
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Tesla reportedly adding USB-C ports and wireless phone charging to US-made Model 3 vehicles

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge Tesla has started adding a wireless phone charger and USB-C ports to Model 3 vehicles built at its Fremont, Calif. factory, Elektrek reported. As first reported by Drive Tesla Canada, the features were already available in Tesla’s Model Y, and the carmaker began adding them last month to its Chinese-made Model 3 vehicles.
The Model Y, which Tesla began delivering to US customers in March, comes standard with the Qi wireless phone charger, but until now, it’s only been available to Model 3 vehicles as an aftermarket add-on, according to Elektrek .
Tesla lowered the prices of its Model 3, Model S, and Model X in North America last month, as well as the prices of the Model S and Model X cars sold in China. Its Chinese-produced Model 3 cars…
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Microsoft reportedly restores custom Xbox Live gamerpic uploads

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Microsoft has restored custom Xbox Live gamerpics, Windows Central reported. The software giant turned off the ability to upload gamerpics, club pics, and club backgrounds near the end of March amid a surge in demand.
Microsoft’s other cloud services, including Windows Virtual Desktop, Teams, Mixer, and Xbox Game Pass, also saw huge increased demand in March, as many people were on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company also said at the time that it was working with game publishers to deliver higher-bandwidth activities, like game updates, during off-peak gaming hours.
Reinstating features like custom gamerpics may mean the strain of demand for Xbox Live has eased, with many areas loosening lockdowns and social distancing…
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SpaceX launched more Starlink satellites on Falcon 9, and three Planet SkySats hitched a ride

Falcon 9 launched 58 Starlink satellites and three Planet Skysats to orbit, then returned to Earth. | SpaceX SpaceX launched 58 new Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday morning, and three satellites from Planet tagged along for the ride. The SpaceX satellites are part of its growing Starlink constellation, which it’s building to provide internet connectivity on Earth. The company has permission to launch some 12,000 satellites as part of the project.
The Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellites, then returned safely to Earth, landing on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship pic.twitter.com/qv6aMiPGoq
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 13, 2020 The Planet satellites are part of that company’s existing SkySat constellation, which…
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Twitter reinstates Zero Hedge account saying its earlier suspension was ‘an error’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter has reinstated the account for markets blogging site Zero Hedge, and says its decision to suspend the account for “platform manipulation” earlier this year was a mistake, Bloomberg reported. The January suspension of its Twitter account followed a report from Zero Hedge suggesting that a Chinese scientist had created the coronavirus in a lab, a theory that has since been widely debunked.
Zero Hedge says in a post on its site Saturday that Twitter told them the suspension was for violating its rules against abuse and harassment, and reiterated its position that the suspension was “motivated by reasons other than the stated ones.” Its post argues Zero Hedge did not dox the scientist in question, but used publicly available…
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Rollerball imagined a completely different future of fame

via IMDb The Verge is a place where you can consider the future. So are movies. In Yesterday’s Future, we revisit a movie about the future and consider the things it tells us about today, tomorrow, and yesterday.
The movie: Rollerball (the 1975 original, not the 2002 remake)
The future: Corporate nations and their supercomputers rule humanity, shaping digitized historical records to their liking. The masses are pacified by watching rollerball, a professional sport that’s like football played on a roller derby loop with motorcycles. Rollerball players have a glamorous existence: fans idolize them, executives envy them, and they’re provided lavish homes, beautiful wives or girlfriends, and fancy TVs with extra screens that show smaller, differently…
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