Twitter’s ‘Birdwatch’ looks like a new attempt to root out propaganda and misinformation

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter has confirmed it’s working on a new feature, currently dubbed “Birdwatch,” that could let the Twitter community warn one another about misleading tweets that could cause harm.
There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the idea, including whether Twitter will actually release it to the public or how it might work in its final form, but enough has leaked out that we do have a pretty fair glimpse at the feature — which, we understand, is still early in development and would not be released ahead of the US election.
As TechCrunch notes, the existence of such a tool was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs through app code for evidence of unreleased features, back in August. At a basic level, the idea is that you’ll…
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A shameful security flaw could have let anyone access your Grindr account

You would think a dating app that knows your sexuality and HIV status would take thorough precautions to keep that info protected, but Grindr has disappointed the world once again — this time, with a gobsmackingly egregious security vulnerability that could have let literally anyone who could guess your email address into your user account.
Luckily, French security researcher Wassime Bouimadaghene discovered the vulnerability, perhaps before it could be exploited, and it’s now been fixed.
Unluckily for Grindr, the company ignored his disclosures — until security researcher Troy Hunt (of Have I Been Pwned) and journalist Zack Whittaker (of TechCrunch) each confirmed the issue and wrote about it.
The details need to be seen…
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Bond was the last straw: Regal and Cineworld will reportedly close all theaters in US and UK next week

Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images Cineworld, owner of the largest chain of theaters in the UK and Ireland and the second-largest in the United States — Regal Cinemas — will reportedly close all its theaters next week, according to Variety, The Sunday Times, and others.
Variety reports that all 543 theaters in the US will be closed, which account for the chain’s 7,000+ screens in the region. The Sunday Times reports that it will close all 128 theaters in the UK and Ireland, too.
Both say James Bond is the reason.
Yesterday, the 25th James Bond film — No Time to Die — was pushed back to April 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, denying theaters one of the last major tentpole releases due out this year. Apparently, theaters were counting on Bond, specifically, to arrive on…
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2020 is giving us another chance to watch Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai get grilled by Congress

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have agreed to testify virtually before the Senate Commerce Committee on October 28th, Politico reported Friday evening. Assuming that the hearing is live-streamed in some way, that means you’ll be able to watch some of the world’s most powerful people get grilled by policymakers who’ve recently discussed changing the laws that let their companies grow to an unfathomable scale.
The hearing, which will take place just six days before the US Presidential election, will be the second major Congressional hearing featuring big tech CEOs this year; the House antitrust committee heard from Pichai, Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in…
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SpaceX aborts launch of updated GPS satellite just before takeoff

Update October 2nd, 10:00PM ET: Just 2 seconds before liftoff, SpaceX stopped the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket, without giving a clear indication of what went wrong. The next opportunity for SpaceX to fly is Saturday evening, though a launch date hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Original Story: Late Friday night, SpaceX is slated to launch a new upgraded GPS satellite for the US Space Force from Cape Canaveral, Florida — the latest spacecraft intended to help modernize the current GPS fleet. This will be the fourth GPS satellite of its kind to launch in the last three years, and the third one to be launched by SpaceX.
The satellite going up on this flight is GPS III SV04, which will become one of the 31 primary GPS satellites in orbit. This…
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Amazon says 19,816 workers have contracted COVID-19

Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images 1.44 percent of Amazon’s front-line employees, or 19,816 workers, have tested positive or been “presumed positive for COVID-19,” Amazon said in a blog post published Thursday. The company says it employs 1,372,000 front-line employees across both Amazon and Whole Foods.
The blog marks the first time Amazon has disclosed how many of its workers have contracted COVID-19, and comes after months of demands for increased transparency from workers, governments, and Amazon investors. Amazon warehouse workers have reportedly even worked amongst themselves to attempt to determine how many of their colleagues have contracted the disease. The disclosure is also notable following comments from Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations…
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10 things we learned about Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, Nintendo’s mixed reality racer

One of Nintendo’s more intriguing upcoming games is Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Developed by Velan Studios, it’s a title that follows the likes of Labo and Pokémon Go, attempting to take Nintendo’s playful experiences and translate them into the real world. In this case, Home Circuit is both a game you play on a Switch and a remote control racer that will take over your living room.
There’s a lot going on, and I recently had a chance for a hands-off demo of the game, where I learned a few interesting tidbits about what the experience will be like. Here’s what you need to know ahead of Home Circuit’s launch on October 16th.
What you get in the box The $99.99 package comes in two varieties — Mario or Luigi — though both offer the same…
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The just-announced Pixel 5 has somehow already been unboxed

The Pixel 5, Google’s latest Android flagship, was just announced today, and someone on YouTube has already posted an unboxing video of the new device ahead of its release (via 9to5Google).
What’s in the box is fairly standard — there’s the phone itself, as well as a charger, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-C to USB-A converter. The YouTube user who has the phone, who goes by the name Sergiu, does power it on, giving us a look at the phone’s 6-inch 2340 x 1080 OLED screen and 8-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera. Sergiu doesn’t use the phone all that much in the video, though, sticking mostly to the phone’s home screen.
Sergiu also zooms in on back of the Pixel 5, showing the phone’s aluminum back, fingerprint sensor, and square…
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Google says the Pixel’s Soli radar and Motion Sense will return

Image: Google Google’s $799 Pixel 4 had built-in radar. The new $699 Pixel 5 does not — it ditches the sensor-laden forehead of its predecessor entirely in favor of thinner bezels and a hole-punch camera, like the $349 Pixel 4a before it. The result is more screen, but Google’s “Motion Sense” gestures and its answer to Apple’s Face ID are totally gone.
But Google hardware boss Rick Osterloh tells The Verge that the Project Soli radar and gestures will return. “They’ll be used in the future,” he says. They were just too expensive for the phone that Google wanted to build this time.
(He didn’t say whether they’d appear in a new phone, specifically; a recent FCC filing suggests they might come to a new Nest thermostat as well.)
And let’s not get started… Continue reading…