Xiaomi says it can now fully charge a phone in eight minutes at 200W

Xiaomi has shown off its latest fast charging tech demo, and consequently is claiming the new world records for both wired and wireless charging speeds. Using a modified Mi 11 Pro with a 4,000mAh battery, Xiaomi says it’s able to fully charge the phone in 8 minutes over a 200W wired “HyperCharge” system, or in 15 minutes with 120W wireless charging.
Charging speeds are a frequent battleground for Chinese smartphone companies, who often release demonstrations of breakthroughs that may or may not show up in final products. Two years ago, for example, Xiaomi announced a 100W system that could charge a 4,000mAh battery in 17 minutes, while last year’s Mi 10 Ultra filled up in 23 minutes at 120W — though it did have a bigger 4,500mAh battery.
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Google reportedly made it difficult for smartphone users to find privacy settings

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Unredacted documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google show that company executives and engineers were aware that the search giant had made it hard for smartphone users to keep location information private, Insider reported.
The documents suggest that Google collected location data even after users had turned off location sharing, and made privacy settings difficult for users to find. Insider also reports that the documents show Google pressured phone manufacturers into keeping privacy settings hidden, because the settings were popular with users.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against Google last May, alleging the company illegally tracked Android users’ location without their consent, even if users had…
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Venmo leaked Joe Biden’s friends, but you can now keep yours a secret

Image: Venmo Venmo has added new privacy controls for friend lists following a jaw-dropping incident where BuzzFeed News was able to track down President Joe Biden’s Venmo account because of the app’s leaky privacy protocols. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered earlier on Friday that Venmo was working on the new controls.
“We’re consistently evolving and strengthening the Venmo platform for all of our customers. As part of these ongoing efforts, we are enhancing our in-app controls providing customers an option to select a public, friends-only, or private setting for their friends list,” a Venmo spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.
To find the new controls, tap the hamburger icon while on the main feed, then tap “Settings,”…
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HBO’s The Last of Us is the rare show letting a video game actor reprise her role

Photo by Amy Sussman/FilmMagic Merle Dandridge, an actor who’s had a long career in television and theater, will be reprising her role of Marlene in HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation, according to VarietyandDeadline. Dandridge’s casting is particularly notable because actors in video games are rarely presented with the opportunity to play their characters in live action outside of the motion capture stage.
Marlene is integral to how lead characters Joel and Ellie join together and head off on their zombie road trip in the first place. It’s unknown how much of the game’s story will carry over to the television adaptation, but Dandridge’s situation is unique. Both Troy Baker’s Joel and Ashley Johnson’s Ellie were recast for executive producer and writer Craig Mazin’s…
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Nintendo’s OLED Switch could come in September

Illustrations by Alex Castro / The Verge Nintendo could release its heavily rumored new version of the Switch in September or October, according to a report by Bloomberg. Manufacturing is reportedly planned to start as soon as July, and Bloomberg says the system may be announced before the E3 trade show, which kicks off in virtual form on June 12th.
As Bloomberg notes, an announcement ahead of E3 would allow third-party publishers, as well as Nintendo itself, to show their games running on the new hardware. This version of the Switch is said to use more powerful silicon from Nvidia that works with DLSS technology, allowing for 4K output to a TV. It also reportedly has a 7-inch OLED display sourced from Samsung.
Bloomberg says Nintendo’s suppliers are “confident” in their…
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Amnesty International calls for Google to halt cloud business in Saudi Arabia

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amnesty International is teaming up with 38 other human rights groups and individuals to call for a halt to Google’s plans to set up an enterprise cloud business in Saudi Arabia because of concerns over the country’s human rights track record.
The joint statement — signed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Media Matters for Democracy, among others — calls for Google to end its plans in Saudi Arabia until the company conducts a public human rights assessment and makes it clear what kinds of government requests for data it won’t honor. Even more important, the letter writers state, is conducting that investigation in the open, actually consulting with the people Google could inadvertently help Saudi Arabia to hurt, and speaking to…
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J.J. Abrams says the Valve Portal movie is ‘finally on the rails’

“It’s been a long time. How have you been?” J.J. Abrams has said that a movie based on Valve’s Portal is still in the works, and that a script is finally being written, according to IGN. Abrams is light on details, but says that Warner Brothers is excited about the direction the movie is going in, and that it “feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.”
We originally heard about the movie all the way back in 2013, when Abrams and Gabe Newell were on stage together at the DICE Summit. At the time, Abrams apparently told Polygon that the plan was “as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets.” That was eight years ago, so it seems he was right to couch it like that.
From the archives: Abrams and Newell on stage at DICE 2013 Summit, talking about movies and games. … Continue reading…

Samsung announces bigger and smaller versions of its TV-like Smart Monitor

Samsung’s Smart Monitor range is expanding. The company’s line of Tizen-powered smart computer displays now includes a 43-inch 4K M7 model as well as a 24-inch 1080p M5, marking the biggest and smallest Smart Monitors to be made available to date.
Samsung introduced the Smart Monitor last year and describes it as a “do-it-all” display designed for both work and entertainment. The screens have built-in speakers and smart TV functionality through Samsung’s Tizen platform, meaning you can run video apps like Netflix directly on the device, as well as remote desktop access and productivity software like Office 365. The Smart Monitors have a remote control that works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby, and there’s also wireless support…
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Virgin Galactic spaceplane VSS Unity completes successful flight

VSS Unity in space over New Mexico on May 22nd. | Virgin Galactic Richard Branson’sVirgin Galactic completed its first successful space flight in more than two years on Saturday, with its crewed VSS Unity spacecraft carried to an altitude of more than 44,000 feet before gliding safely back to Earth. It marked the first spaceflight from New Mexico, making it the third US state to launch humans into space. The Zia sun symbol of New Mexico’s state flag was displayed on the outside of the ship.
Virgin’s VMS Eve carrier aircraft took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at about 10:35AM ET with Unity aboard. About 10 minutes before its release, Unity switched to its own battery power, and conducted flight control and electrical checks. Once released by Eve, Unity’s pilots C.J. Sturckow and Dave Mackay…
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Apple’s excuse for no AirTag in Siri Remote: it’s too thick to easily lose in your couch

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge We have poked a considerable amount of fun at the Apple TV’s Siri Remote over the years, and we’re pleased to say it’s finally fixed — except for the headsmacking decision not to stick the company’s AirTag UWB locator technology into one of the few gadgets absolutely, positively guaranteed to get lost in your couch cushions someday. Why?
Today, Apple VP Tim Twerdahl answered that burning question in perhaps the most unsatisfactory way imaginable: simply, that the new TV remote’s thick enough you shouldn’t need to worry about that much anymore.
Here’s the whole exchange between Twerdahl and MobileSyrup’s Patrick O’Rourke:
Q: Was there ever any thought to adding some sort of AirTag-like technology in the Siri remote? I’m always losing the…
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