Technology

Reddit partners with crypto exchange FTX to help users manage community points

Reddit now lets users purchase Ethereum cryptocurrency on the platform through an integration with FTX, the crypto exchange owned by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. In a press release, FTX announced that Reddit users can now use the firm’s payment system, FTX Pay, when managing their blockchain-based community points. Reddit first rolled out community points in 2020 as a way to reward users for interacting with a community. These points exist on the Ethereum blockchain and are stored in the “Vault,” a user’s blockchain-based wallet that also holds the collectible NFT (non-fungible token) avatars that Reddit introduced last month. Reddit displays a user’s community points next to their username as a measure of their reputation, but also offers various ways to use them, such as to get communi...

Philips Hue Play sync box and gradient lightstrip review: wholly unnecessary, totally delightful

Am I wrong for thinking our TVs should be a lot cooler by now? We can pretend 3D TVs didn’t happen because they were bad, and curved TVs were a gimmick at best. Yeah, picture quality and form factor has improved a lot since the 1980s, but it’s 2022! Where’s my awesome sci-fi TV? All that is to say that when I finally got a chance to test Philips’ Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and Play gradient lightstrip, I was hopeful that it would elevate my TV experience. It claims to sync the color-changing backlight (and any other color-changing bulbs you might have) with the content on your TV for a more immersive experience. It’s a “surround lighting” concept to go along with the surround sound we’ve known for years. This surround lighting experience isn’t quite sci-fi, but it’s still pretty cool. And afte...

Halo system link still holds up more than 20 years later

Moments after booting up Halo: Combat Evolved with some friends, stepping onto the legendary Blood Gulch map, and dying nearly instantly from a few well-placed pistol shots, I remembered exactly why wires are good. When my friends brought two original Xbox consoles along for a beach weekend, I expected that there would be some hassle getting them to work for our planned six-player matches. The game and consoles are more than 20 years old, likely predating even the dusty flat-screen TVs we were playing on. But to my surprise, just a few minutes after we had set up the consoles and connected them for system link play, we plugged in some controllers, made a Halo lobby, and began trash talking each other across the entire house. Modern multiplayer games can have some frustrating hoops The simp...

Your iPhone may soon have more ads

Apple could eventually bring ads to more of the apps that come pre-installed on your iPhone and other Apple devices, including Maps, Books, and Podcasts. According to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has internally tested search ads in Maps, which could display recommendations when you search for restaurants, stores, or other nearby businesses. Apple already implements a similar advertising model on the App Store, as developers can pay to have their app promoted on a search page for a particular query, like “puzzle games” or “photo editor.” As noted by Gurman, ads on Maps could work in the same way, with businesses paying to appear at the top of search results when users enter certain search terms. Gurman believes that Apple could introduce ads to its native Podcasts and Books ...

Elon Musk pitches lofty goals in a magazine run by China’s internet censorship agency

Elon Musk pitched sustainable energy, brain implants, and space exploration in an article published in a Chinese magazine run by the country’s internet watchdog and censorship agency, according to a translation from Yang Liu, a reporter for the Chinese state press agency, Xinhua. (via WSJ reporter Karen Hao). Formed in 2013, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is in charge of creating and enforcing policies surrounding online content, user data, and digital security. The CAC later created a magazine that, according to China Media Project senior researcher, Stella Chen, typically includes regulatory announcements and research on internet policy. The magazine was initially called New Media before it was rebranded as China Cyberspace earlier this year. “Whether it’s Tesla, Neuralink,...

iRobot’s poop-avoiding Roomba j7 vacuum is on sale for $200 off today

Great news, folks! Wellbots is currently taking up to $200 off cat Ubers — err, robot vacuums. OK, it may not be the most exciting news of the week, but most people would agree that there is nothing remotely fun about cleaning. Luckily, robot vacuums like iRobot’s Roomba j7 and Roomba i3 Plus EVO can expedite the entire process and make it a lot less hands-on. Right now, you can buy the Roomba j7 — our favorite robot vacuum — for just $399 ($200 off) at Wellbots when you use promo code THEVERGE200 at checkout, which matches the robovac’s lowest price to date. The vacuum offers a wealth of great features, including scheduling, obstacle avoidance, the ability to map out your home’s layout, and Alexa, Google, and Siri support so you can start or stop the vacuum using only your voice. Plus, it...

Apple and Samsung smartwatches need more buttons if they want more athletes

Earlier this week, Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It’s Samsung’s most durable smartwatch ever and at Unpacked it was clear that the company intends the watch to appeal to outdoor athletes. Apple also revealed at WWDC that watchOS 9 will feature a ton of new running metrics, adding fuel to rumors that a rugged Apple Watch may be on the way. It’s clear that both companies are looking to lure in users from the Garmin and Polar crowd — but aside from battery life and durability, there’s another obstacle that could derail these efforts. Touchscreens. For better or worse, Apple and Samsung have relied on touchscreen navigation on their smartwatches. That’s fine for casual exercise, or for the average person who isn’t traversing all sorts of terrain with extreme temperatures. It’s not ...

The DCEU has become a crisis of Warner Bros.’ own making

One of the most curious details to come out of recent reports focused on the corporate fracas happening over at HBO Max and the rest of Warner Bros. Discovery was CEO David Zaslav’s announcement of an explicitly Marvel-esque, decade-long plan for the studio’s films based on DC’s comic books. To listen to Zaslav’s assertion that this move’s meant to “grow” and “protect the DC brand,” one might’ve gotten the impression that Warner Bros. wasn’t already in the midst of a years-long effort to build out a cinematic universe of superhero movies. To get that impression, though, one would somehow have to have forgotten or blocked out the DCEU, Warner Bros.’ most-recent constellation of loosely-connected, live-action comic book adaptations that began with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013. Looking ...

Uber is shutting down its free loyalty program later this year

Uber is ending its free loyalty program, Uber Rewards, so it can turn its attention to its subscription-based Uber One membership. In an email sent to customers, Uber explains that users can still earn points until the end of August, and that the last day to redeem points is October 31st. “Thank you for being part of Uber Rewards,” the email reads. “It’s been a great ride, but we’ve decided to end Rewards soon, as we shift our focus to our new Uber One membership program.” The email sent to Uber Rewards users.Screenshot: Uber via Michael Konen Uber has since posted an update about the loyalty program’s imminent shutdown, which will take place on November 1st, 2022. Launched in 2018, Uber Rewards is a free program that lets you rack up points for every dollar you spend when hitching a ride ...

This customizable smart display is a fun desk accessory in need of a purpose

When the Tidbyt, which its creators describe as a “personal pixel display,” arrived at my house, I liked it before I even knew what to do with it. With its walnut paneling and its ultra-pixelated display, it kind of looks like what would happen if you asked someone in 1956 to design an Echo Show for Amazon. It’s 8.2 inches long, 4.4 inches tall, and two inches deep, which is a little big to put on your bedside table but nestles nicely into a bookshelf or on a larger desk. It’s an impressively well-made thing for a company’s first product. But the thing about the $179 Tidbyt is that it never really becomes obvious what this device is for. It’s a clock but not an alarm clock. It’s a hilariously bad digital photo frame. It doesn’t do anything your phone can’t, and your phone definitely does a...

Now DoorDash could start delivering your Facebook Marketplace purchases, too

You may soon have the option to have your Facebook Marketplace purchases picked up and delivered by DoorDash. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is partnering with DoorDash to deliver Marketplace items located up to 15 miles away. Not every item is eligible for delivery, though. Sources tell the WSJ that DoorDash will only deliver items that are small enough to fit in the trunk of a car, and that drivers are expected to make deliveries within 48 hours. Either way, it sounds like a helpful option for anyone who isn’t able to pick up an item themselves. It also fills a gap in Facebook Marketplace’s existing local delivery options, which only lets you get larger items delivered through a service called Dolly. The service is limited to a little...

Channel stores are officially the hottest new thing in streaming

YouTube is building a system that would allow users to subscribe to streaming services through the YouTube app, The Wall Street Journal reported, and could launch the so-called “channel store” as early as this fall. The Journal’s report didn’t say which services might be part of the store, only that YouTube has been talking with various entertainment companies. A channel store makes perfect sense for YouTube, and it’s been a long time in the works: The Information reported on a similar plan way back in early 2020. More recently, the company has been signaling this is coming: “I think whether content is distributed in a bundle, or where over time we explore other ways of distributing it, I think YouTube can be a great partner there,” YouTube VP of product management Christian Oestlien recen...