Quietly unveiled at MWC in early March, the Huawei Watch might just be the best Android Wear watch made to date. We expected it to be rather pricey, but the gadget might actually be more affordable than we thought, especially when compared with Apple’s Watch price tiers.
Psychedelic drugs should be reclassified to encourage new research into their medical applications, a researcher argues in an opinion piece published in The British Medical Journal today. Before substances such as LSD were stigmatized during the "war on drugs" in the 1970s, studies suggested they could be useful in dealing with psychiatric disorders, writes James Rucker, a psychiatrist at King’s College London. But a number of restrictions — some legal and some financial — have made studying potentially-helpful drugs far too difficult.
"Legal prohibition of some psychotropic substances continues to be a condition of UN membership," Rucker writes, "even though the original reasons for classifying them as such were largely fallacious."
Every day, we try to bring you the best selection of free apps we can find on the App Store, but today we have the unique pleasure of being able to alert you to some free TV shows as well. For a limited time, Comedy Central is giving away an episode from 12 of its most popular shows as part of a huge sale on Google Play.
I'm excited to announce that The Verge's parent company Vox Media is acquiring Recode, the terrific tech business news site and conference business founded by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg just over a year ago.
This is going to be fun.
If you've been following The Verge over the past year, you've noticed that we've aggressively expanded our coverage from tech to entertainment, science, and now transportation. That bet worked: The Verge is now bigger and more popular than ever. Over 24.5 million people visited the site in April, a 33 percent increase from last year, and we're delivering 40 million video streams a month.
But along the way, we made a big decision: The Verge is not a business site.
The Verge is for everyone
The Verge is for people interested in understanding the exciting and bewildering everyday changes of the future. It's for all of us trying to figure out how we should live and act and behave in this enchanting new world of screens. It's for people wondering what to spend their money on — and for people thinking about how spending that money affects everyone else around them. It's for knowing about trends and ideas across technology and culture first. It's about art and science coming together to spark one of the fastest eras of change in history. The Verge is for understanding life on the cutting edge.
The Verge is for everyone.
So when the opportunity to work more closely with Recode arrived, it made perfect sense: Recode covers the business of technology better than any other publication in the world. Kara and Walt have built a juggernaut of reporting talent and an unparallelled conference series designed for business leaders and executives, and the competition isn't even close. Bringing Recode into the Vox Media fold means that The Verge can remain focused on being the best mainstream technology and lifestyle site in the world, and Recode can dig even deeper into how the money and business of technology works. Recode will maintain its site and branding, but over time we'll work hard to find as many ways to work together as possible.
Recode's awesome reviews team is joining The Verge
We are making one change, though: Recode's tremendous reviews team of Lauren Goode, Katie Boehret, and Bonnie Cha will join the Verge staff, and Walt Mossberg will be writing reviews and columns for both sites. It's an exciting expansion of our already best-in-the-business tech news and reviews team, and I can't wait to see what they do with The Verge's incredible platform and resources.
And that's all just the start. We're also increasing our overall investment in The Verge, and setting the stage to grow even bigger across the multiple platforms our audience finds us on every day. We've just hired new entertainment, science, and app reporters, and we are about to begin aggressively hiring transportation reporters. The incredible Verge Video team will double in size over the next few months. And we will continue hiring across The Verge as the year continues. It's going to be an insane ride.
Here we go.
One of the biggest criticisms of Apple's new 2015 MacBook has been its keyboard, which reviewers have said isn't nearly as easy to use as keyboards from past MacBooks. However, it looks like Apple has some ideas for improving all of its MacBook keyboards with some exciting new technology.
Adding to an already massive field of upcoming cinematic retellings, Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is working on a live-action version of the classic 1960s series Jonny Quest, and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez is at the helm. He and Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Terry Rossio will both write the screenplay.
The Jonny Quest franchise happens to be one of Hanna-Barbera most beloved properties. The original 1960s show, which was heavily influenced by pulpy classics like John Carter of Mars, followed the sci-fi adventures of a young teenager and his family as they traveled across the globe. The show would spawn a number of later series, and a live-action film has been promised since 1995. At one point, Zac Efron was...
It's puzzling that two and a half years after its launch, Apple Maps still doesn't support public transit directions, making it more or less useless during the more than 10 billion times each year that Americans ride the bus, take the train, or use some other form of alternative transportation. It was looking like Apple would finally remedy that in iOS 9 with the addition of public transit directions, but a new report from 9to5Mac says that the support will be pretty half-hearted. Apparently, public transit directions may only launch in six cities: New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Paris, and Berlin. There may also be some support in China.
Virtual reality company Oculus has acquired Surreal Vision, a UK company whose software can map and recreate the real world in a virtual one. Surreal Vision grew out of its three co-founders' Ph.D. research at Imperial College London; the team will now move to Oculus' lab in Redmond, Washington.
This is the latest of several acquisitions by Oculus, which was itself purchased by Facebook in March of 2014. After the Facebook buyout, it brought on the design team that helped create the Xbox 360 controller and Kinect, followed by motion-tracking company Nimble VR. In a blog post today, Surreal Vision gave us an idea of what it will be doing (emphasis added.)
Gulp. This isn't good. The Associated Press reports that the Internal Revenue Service admitted on Tuesday that thieves had hacked into one of its systems and had managed to swipe tax information from more than 100,000 American taxpayers. According to the AP, the IRS says that the thieves "used an online service provided by the IRS to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers."
Not too long ago, Brian X. Chen of The New York Times wrote a piece arguing that traditional product reviews are broken insofar as they don't often consider the varying levels of customer service different companies provide.
"The product evaluations neglect to mention the quality of a company's customer service," Chen writes, "which becomes the most important fact of of all when problems or questions related to the product come up."
This is an astute point, and especially apt in regards to tech products. Not only are tech products pricey, but addressing tech oriented problems is usually beyond the expertise of most owners. As a result, if there's any one industry where customer service should be afforded more weight when putting together a product review or stacking two rival products against one another, it's the tech industry.
Sony and LG will begin preinstalling some of Microsoft's biggest apps on their Android tablets, making them available to new buyers straight out of the box. Those apps include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive. That gives Skype, Office, and Microsoft's cloud services an important position, putting them right at the fingertips of new Android tablet owners who more than likely will be interested in finding apps to help them get work done. Microsoft is well aware of this, which is why it's been making these app distribution deals to try to gain a hold on mobile. It's also a bit of a bet that Android tablets will eventually take off.
In addition to Sony and LG, Microsoft is also announcing 18 other partners today,...
Samsung is the company that brought phablets into the mainstream and its Galaxy Note phablets are routinely among the best smartphones released every year. The South Korean giant is getting ready to unveil its Galaxy Note 5 this year, but the future of the Note family might be a lot more exciting than curved displays and high-resolution displays, a new Samsung invention seems to indicate.