The Verge

The Verge is an American technology news and media network operated by Vox Media. The network publishes news items, long-form feature stories, guidebooks, product reviews, and podcasts.

The website uses Chorus, Vox Media's proprietary multimedia publishing platform.[3][4] The network is managed by its editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, executive editor Dieter Bohn, and editorial director Helen Havlak.[5][6] The site launched on November 1, 2011. The Verge won five Webby Awards for the year 2012 including awards for Best Writing (Editorial), Best Podcast for The Vergecast, Best Visual Design, Best Consumer Electronics Site, and Best Mobile News App.[7]

The Verge
The Verge Logo 2016
The Verge Wordmark 2016
Screenshot
The Verge Website Screenshot
The Verge website as of November 1, 2016
Type of site
Technology news
Available inEnglish
OwnerVox Media
Created by
EditorNilay Patel
Websitetheverge.com
Alexa rankNegative increase 564 (December 2018)[2]
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
LaunchedNovember 1, 2011
Current statusOnline

History

Origins

Between March and April 2011, up to nine of Engadget's most prominent writers, editors, and product developers, including editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, left AOL, the company behind the website, to found a new gadget site that would become The Verge.[8][9][10] The other departing editors included managing editor Nilay Patel and staffers Paul Miller, Ross Miller, Joanna Stern, Chris Ziegler, as well as product developers Justin Glow, and Dan Chilton.[8][11][12] In early April 2011, Topolsky announced that their unnamed new site would be produced in partnership with sports news website SB Nation, debuting some time in the fall.[11][13] Topolsky lauded SB Nation's similar interest in the future of publishing, including what he described as their beliefs in independent journalism and in-house development of their own content delivery tools.[11][12] Jim Bankoff of SB Nation saw an overlap in the two sites' demographics and an opportunity to expand SB Nation's model.[11] Bankoff previously worked at AOL in 2005, where he led their Engadget acquisition.[14] Other news outlets viewed the partnership as positive for both SB Nation and Topolsky's staff, and negative for AOL's outlook.[15][16][17][18]

Bankoff, chairman and CEO of Vox Media (owner of SB Nation), said in a 2011 interview that though the company had started out with a focus on sports, other categories including consumer technology had growth potential for the company.[19] Development of the Vox Media's content management system (CMS), Chorus, was led by Trei Brundrett, who later became the chief operating officer for the company.[20]

This Is My Next

Following news of his untitled partnership with SB Nation in April 2011, Topolsky announced that the Engadget podcast hosted by Patel, Paul Miller, and himself would continue at an interim site called This Is My Next.[11][21] By August 2011, the site had reached 1 million unique visitors and 3.4 million page views.[21] By October 2011, the site had 3 million unique views per month and 10 million total page views.[1] Time listed the site in its Best Blogs of 2011,[21] calling the prototype site "exemplary".[22] The site closed upon The Verge's launch on November 1, 2011.

On June 11, 2014, The Verge launched a new section called "This Is My Next",[23] edited by former editor David Pierce, as a buyer's guide for consumer electronics.

Launch

The Verge launched November 1, 2011, along with an announcement of a new parent company: Vox Media.[1] According to the company, the site launched with 4 million unique visitors and 20 million pageviews.[24] At the time of Topolsky's departure, Engadget had 14 million unique visitors.[8][17] Vox Media overall doubled its unique visitors to about 15 million during the last half of 2012.[24] The Verge had 12 former Engadget staffers working with Topolsky at the time of launch.[1] In 2013, The Verge launched a new science section, Verge Science, with former Wired editor Katie Drummond leading the effort.[25] Patel replaced Topolsky as editor-in-chief in mid-2014.[26] Journalist Walt Mossberg joined The Verge's editing team after Vox Media acquired Recode in 2015.[27] By 2016, the website's advertising had shifted from display advertisements, matched with articles' contents, to partnerships and advertisements adjusted to the user.[28]

2016–present

Vox Media revamped The Verge's visual design for its fifth anniversary in November 2016.[29] The Verge logo featured a modified Penrose triangle, an impossible object.[30] On November 1, The Verge launched version 3.0 of its news platform, offering a redesigned website along with a new logo.[31]

In September 2016, The Verge fired deputy editor Chris Ziegler after it learned that he had been working for Apple since July.[32] Helen Havlak was promoted to the editorial director position in mid-2017.[33] In 2017, The Verge launched "Guidebook" to host technology product reviews.[34] In May 2018, Verge Science launched a YouTube channel, which had more than 638,000 subscribers and 30 million views by January 2019. The channel received more than 5.3 million views in November 2018 alone.[35]

Content

Podcasts

The Verge broadcasts a live weekly podcast called The Vergecast. The inaugural episode was broadcast on November 4, 2011. Unlike many episodes of previous podcasts, it included a video stream of the hosts.[36] A second weekly podcast was introduced on November 8, 2011. Unlike The Vergecast, The Verge Mobile Show was primarily focused on mobile phones.[37][38] The Verge also launched the weekly podcast Ctrl-Walt-Delete, hosted by Walt Mossberg, in September 2015.[39] The Verge's What's Tech podcast was named among iTunes's best of 2015.[40] The podcast Why'd You Push That Button?, launched in 2017 and co-hosted by Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany,[41] received a Podcast Award in the "This Week in Tech Technology Category" in 2018.[42][43]

Video content

On The Verge

On August 6, 2011, in an interview with Edelman, The Verge co-founder Marty Moe announced that they would soon be launching The Verge Show, a web television series. After the site's launch, the show was named On The Verge. The first episode was taped on Monday, November 14, 2011, with guest Matias Duarte.[44] The show is a technology news entertainment show, and its format is similar to that of a late-night talk show, but it is broadcast over the Internet, not on television. The show's first episode was released on November 15, 2011.

Ten episodes of On The Verge were broadcast, with the most recent episode going out on November 10, 2012.[45] On May 24, 2013, it was announced that the show would return under a new weekly format, alongside a new logo and theme tune.[46]

Other video content

On May 8, 2013, editor-in-chief Topolsky announced Verge Video, a site that contains the video backlog from The Verge.[47]

Circuit Breaker, a gadget blog launched in 2016,[48] has amassed nearly one million Facebook followers and debuted a live show on Twitter in October 2017. The blog's videos average more than 465,000 views, and Jake Kastrenakes serves as editor-in-chief, as of 2017.[49] Also in 2016, USA Network and The Verge partnered on Mr. Robot Digital After Show, a digital aftershow for the television series Mr. Robot.[50] In December, Twitter and Vox Media announced a live streaming partnership for The Verge's programs covering the Consumer Electronics Show.[51]

The series Next Level, hosted and produced by Lauren Goode, debuted in 2017 and was recognized in the "Technology" category at the 47th annual San Francisco / Northern California Emmy Awards (2018).[52][53] In August 2017, The Verge launched a new web series called Space Craft, hosted by science reporter Loren Grush.[54]

Controversy

In September 2018, The Verge published an article titled "How to Build a Custom PC for Editing, Gaming or Coding" and uploaded a video to YouTube entitled "How we Built a $2000 Custom Gaming PC", which was widely criticized for its numerous factual errors. This included The Verge reporter Stefan Etienne wearing an antistatic wrist strap without grounding it, installing the RAM and video card in incorrect slots, applying excessive thermal grease, and installing the power supply unit in a way that blocks airflow to it.[55] After initially disabling comments, The Verge removed the video entirely. In February 2019, lawyers from The Verge's parent company Vox Media filed a DMCA takedown notice, requesting YouTube to remove videos critical of The Verge's video, alleging copyright infringement. YouTube took down two of the videos, uploaded by YouTube channels BitWit and ReviewTechUSA, while applying a copyright "strike" to these two channels.[55][56] After an outcry following the decision, YouTube reinstated these two videos, along with retracting the copyright "strikes" applied.[57] Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica described this controversy as an example of the Streisand effect, saying that while law regarding fair use is unclear regarding this type of situation, "the one legal precedent ... suggests ... that this kind of video is solidly within the bounds of copyright's fair use doctrine."[55]

References

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External links

Apple Inc.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.The company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the Apple AirPods wireless earbuds and the HomePod smart speaker. Apple's software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, and iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, and Apple Card.

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc., in January 1977, and sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years, Jobs and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984, and Apple's marketing advertisements for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price of its products and limited application library caused problems, as did power struggles between executives. In 1985, Wozniak departed Apple amicably and remained an honorary employee, while Jobs and others resigned to found NeXT.As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved through the 1990s, Apple lost market share to the lower-priced duopoly of Microsoft Windows on Intel PC clones. The board recruited CEO Gil Amelio to what would be a 500-day charge for him to rehabilitate the financially troubled company—reshaping it with layoffs, executive restructuring, and product focus. In 1997, he led Apple to buy NeXT, solving the desperately failed operating system strategy and bringing Jobs back. Jobs pensively regained leadership status, becoming CEO in 2000. Apple swiftly returned to profitability under the revitalizing Think different campaign, as he rebuilt Apple's status by launching the iMac in 1998, opening the retail chain of Apple Stores in 2001, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the software portfolio. In January 2007, Jobs renamed the company Apple Inc., reflecting its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, and launched the iPhone to great critical acclaim and financial success. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO due to health complications, and Tim Cook became the new CEO. Two months later, Jobs died, marking the end of an era for the company.

Apple is well known for its size and revenues. Its worldwide annual revenue totaled $265 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. Apple is the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei. In August 2018, Apple became the first public U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion. The company employs 123,000 full-time employees and maintains 504 retail stores in 24 countries as of 2018. It operates the iTunes Store, which is the world's largest music retailer. As of January 2018, more than 1.3 billion Apple products are actively in use worldwide. The company also has a high level of brand loyalty and is ranked as the world's most valuable brand. However, Apple receives significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices and unethical business practices, including anti-competitive behavior, as well as the origins of source materials.

Essential Phone

The Essential Phone (officially Phone or PH-1) is an Android smartphone designed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, and manufactured, developed and marketed by Essential Products. The phone was announced on May 30, 2017 and released on August 17, 2017.

The Essential Phone has a titanium and ceramic body, an edge-to-edge display protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and two rear cameras, one of which is dedicated to black-and-white photography. Accompanying the phone is a 360-degree camera that can be attached to the top of the device. It was notably also the first mainstream smartphone to feature a "notch" (the cut-out at the top of the display to accommodate a front-facing camera), which would eventually become a trend in the industry. On December 28, 2018 Essential announced to media outlets that they would discontinue the Essential PH-1.

Facebook

Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google.The founders initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students and subsequently Columbia, Stanford, and Yale students. Membership was eventually expanded to the remaining Ivy League schools, MIT, and higher education institutions in the Boston area, then various other universities, and lastly high school students. Since 2006, anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though this may vary depending on local laws. The name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students. Facebook held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company. Facebook makes most of its revenue from advertisements that appear onscreen and in users' News Feeds.

The Facebook service can be accessed from devices with Internet connectivity, such as personal computers, tablets and smartphones. After registering, users can create a customized profile revealing information about themselves. They can post text, photos and multimedia which is shared with any other users that have agreed to be their "friend". Users can also use various embedded apps, join common-interest groups, and receive notifications of their friends' activities. As of December 2018, Facebook had more than 2.3 billion monthly active users.It receives prominent media coverage, including many controversies. These often involve user privacy (as with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal), political manipulation (as with the 2016 U.S. elections), psychological effects such as addiction and low self-esteem, and content that some users find objectionable, including fake news, conspiracy theories, and copyright infringement.Facebook offers other products and services. It acquired Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and GrokStyle and independently developed Facebook Messenger, Facebook Watch, and Facebook Portal.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger (commonly known as Messenger) is a messaging app and platform. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008, the company revamped its messaging service in 2010, and subsequently released standalone iOS and Android apps in August 2011. Over the years, Facebook has released new apps on a variety of different operating systems, launched a dedicated website interface, and separated the messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, requiring users to use the web interface or download one of the standalone apps.

Users can send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio, and files, as well as react to other users' messages and interact with bots. The service also supports voice and video calling. The standalone apps support using multiple accounts, conversations with optional end-to-end encryption, and playing games.

Google

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.

The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Google Fi, and Google Station).Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google was the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". The company's unofficial slogan "Don't be evil" was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices. Unlike the company's previous virtual assistant, Google Now, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.

Assistant initially debuted in May 2016 as part of Google's messaging app Allo, and its voice-activated speaker Google Home. After a period of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it began to be deployed on other Android devices in February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear (now Wear OS), and was released as a standalone app on the iOS operating system in May 2017. Alongside the announcement of a software development kit in April 2017, the Assistant has been, and is being, further extended to support a large variety of devices, including cars and third party smart home appliances. The functionality of the Assistant can also be enhanced by third-party developers.

In 2017, Google Assistant was installed on more than 400 million devices.Users primarily interact with Google Assistant through natural voice, though keyboard input is also supported. In the same nature and manner as Google Now, the Assistant is able to search the Internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to identify objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs.

At CES 2018, the first Assistant-powered smart displays (smart speakers with video screens) were announced, with the first one being released in July 2018.

Google Photos

Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by Google. It was announced in May 2015 and spun out from Google+, the company's social network.

Google Photos gives users free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. The service automatically analyzes photos, identifying various visual features and subjects. Users can search for anything in photos, with the service returning results from three major categories: People, Places, and Things. Google Photos recognizes faces, grouping similar ones together (this feature is only available in certain countries due to privacy laws); geographic landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower); and subject matter, including birthdays, buildings, animals, food, and more.

Different forms of machine learning in the Photos service allow recognition of photo contents, automatically generate albums, animate similar photos into quick videos, surface past memories at significant times, and improve the quality of photos and videos. In May 2017, Google announced several updates to Google Photos, including reminders for and suggested sharing of photos, shared photo libraries between two users, and physical albums, with Photos automatically suggesting collections based on face, location, trip, or other distinction.

Google Photos acts as a back up when photos are sent or in Google terms 'Shared'. This is just a common backup tool when photos are shared between social media or other platforms or apps.

Google Photos received critical acclaim after its decoupling from Google+ in 2015. Reviewers liked the updated Photos service for its recognition technology, search, apps, and loading times. Nevertheless, privacy concerns were raised, including Google's motivation for building the service, as well as its relationship to governments and possible laws requiring Google to hand over a user's entire photo history. Google Photos has seen strong user adoption. It reached 100 million users after five months, 200 million after one year, and 500 million as of May 2017, with Google announcing that over 1.2 billion photos are uploaded to the service every day, with the grand total of all uploaded content measuring over 13.7 petabytes of storage. For comparison, at the end of 2017 the entire Internet Archive held almost 40 petabytes.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. The service was announced on May 10, 2011, and after a six-month, invitation-only beta period, it was publicly launched on November 16, 2011.

Users with standard accounts can upload and listen to up to 50,000 songs from their personal libraries at no cost. A paid Google Play Music subscription entitles users to on-demand streaming of any song in the Google Play Music catalog, as well as access to YouTube Music Premium. Users in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom also have access to YouTube Premium. Users can purchase additional tracks for their library through the music store section of Google Play. In addition to offering music streaming for Internet-connected devices, the Google Play Music mobile apps allow music to be stored and listened to offline.

IPhone X

iPhone X (Roman numeral "X" pronounced "ten") is a smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It was the eleventh generation of the iPhone. It was announced on September 12, 2017, alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, at the Steve Jobs Theater in the Apple Park campus. The phone was released on November 3, 2017, marking the iPhone series' tenth anniversary.

The iPhone X is intended to showcase what Apple considers technology of the future, specifically adopting OLED screen technology for the first time in iPhone history, as well as using a glass and stainless-steel form factor, offering wireless charging, and removing the home button in favor of introducing a new "bezel-less" design, shrinking the bezels, and not having a "chin", unlike many Android phones. It also released a new type of password authentication called Face ID. Face ID is a new authentication method using advanced technologies to scan the user's face to unlock the device, as well as for the use of animated emojis called Animoji. The new, nearly bezel-less form factor marks a significant change to the iPhone user interaction, involving swipe-based gestures to navigate around the operating system rather than the typical home button used in every previous iteration of the iPhone lineup. At the time of its November 2017 launch, its price tag of US$999 also made it the most expensive iPhone ever, with even higher prices internationally due to additional local sales and import taxes.

The iPhone X received mixed reviews. Its display and build quality were universally praised, and the camera also scored positively on tests. The phone received particularly polarized reception due to the sensor housing "notch" at the top of the screen and the introduction of an all-new authentication method. The notch was heavily mocked by users on social media, although app developers responded either neutrally or positively to the changes it brought to the user experience in their apps and games. Reviewers had mixed reactions, with some condemning it and others acknowledging it as unusual in the first moments of use before getting accustomed to its presence. Face ID facial recognition was praised for its simple setup, but criticized for requiring direct eyes on the screen, though that option can be disabled within the system preferences.

Along with the iPhone 6s, its Plus variant, and the iPhone SE, the iPhone X was discontinued on September 12, 2018 following the announcement of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR devices. As a result, with a shelf life of just over 10 months, the iPhone X had the shortest ever tenure as the flagship device in the history of the iPhone.

On November 22, 2018, Apple has reportedly resumed production of the iPhone X due to weak sales of its successors. The iPhone X remains discontinued, but as of February 2019, Apple started selling refurbished models for $769.

Instagram

Instagram (also known as IG or Insta) is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released a year and half later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively.

The app allows users to upload photos and videos to the service, which can be edited with various filters, and organized with tags and location information. An account's posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tags and locations, and view trending content. Users can "like" photos, and follow other users to add their content to a feed.

The service was originally distinguished by only allowing content to be framed in a square (1:1) aspect ratio, but these restrictions were eased in 2015. The service also added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, as well as "Stories"—similar to its main competitor Snapchat—which allows users to post photos and videos to a sequential feed, with each post accessible by others for 24 hours each. As of January 2019, the Stories feature is being used by 500 million users daily.After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion as of May 2019. In April 2012, Facebook acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. As of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded to the service. Although praised for its influence, Instagram has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, and illegal or improper content uploaded by users.

As of 14 January 2019, the most liked photo on Instagram is a picture of an egg, posted by the account @world_record_egg, created with a sole purpose of surpassing the previous record of 18 million likes on a Kylie Jenner post. The picture currently has over 50 million likes.

Pixel 2

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Android smartphones designed and developed by HTC and LG respectively, and marketed by Google. They were announced during a Google event on October 4, 2017, as the successors to the Pixel and Pixel XL. They were released on October 19, 2017, and serve as the second set of smartphones in the Google Pixel hardware line. On October 9, 2018, they were succeeded by the third-generation Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Samsung Galaxy S8 Active are Android smartphones (with the S8+ being the phablet smartphone) produced by Samsung Electronics as the eighth generation of the Samsung Galaxy S series. The S8 and S8+ were unveiled on 29 March 2017 and directly succeeded the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, with a North American release on 21 April 2017 and international rollout throughout April and May. The S8 Active was announced on 8 August 2017 and is exclusive to certain U.S. cellular carriers.

The S8 and S8+ contain upgraded hardware and major design changes over the S7 line, including larger screens with a taller aspect ratio and curved sides on both the smaller and larger models, iris and face recognition, a new suite of virtual assistant features known as Bixby (along with a new dedicated physical button for launching the assistant), a shift from MicroUSB to USB-C charging, and Samsung DeX, a docking station accessory that allows the phones to be used with a desktop interface with keyboard and mouse input support. The S8 Active features tougher materials designed for protection against shock, shatter, water and dust, with a metal frame and a tough texture for improved grip that makes the S8 Active have a rugged design. The Active's screen measures the same size as the standard S8 model but loses the curved edges in favor of a metal frame.

The S8 and S8+ received mostly positive reviews. Their design and form factor received praise, while critics also liked the updated software and camera optimizations. They received criticism for duplicate software apps, lackluster Bixby features at launch, for the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the rear next to the camera. A video published after the phones' release proved that the devices' facial and iris scanners can be fooled by suitable photographs of the user.

The S8 and S8+ were in high demand at release. During the pre-order period, a record one million units were booked in South Korea, and overall sales numbers were 30% higher than the Galaxy S7. However, subsequent reports in May announced sales of over five million units, a notably lower first-month sales number than previous Galaxy S series models.

On March 11, 2018, Samsung launched the successor to the S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Siri

Siri (pronounced ) is a virtual assistant that is part of Apple Inc.'s iOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS and audioOS operating systems. The assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. The software adapts to users' individual language usages, searches, and preferences, with continuing use. Returned results are individualized.

Siri is a spin-off from a project originally developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center. Its speech recognition engine was provided by Nuance Communications, and Siri uses advanced machine learning technologies to function. Its original American, British, and Australian voice actors recorded their respective voices around 2005, unaware of the recordings' eventual usage in Siri. The voice assistant was released as an app for iOS in February 2010, and it was acquired by Apple two months later. Siri was then integrated into iPhone 4S at its release in October 2011. At that time, the separate app was also removed from the iOS App Store. Siri has since become an integral part of Apple's products, having been adapted into other hardware devices over the years, including newer iPhone models, as well as iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, AirPods, Apple TV, and HomePod.

Siri supports a wide range of user commands, including performing phone actions, checking basic information, scheduling events and reminders, handling device settings, searching the Internet, navigating areas, finding information on entertainment, and is able to engage with iOS-integrated apps. With the release of iOS 10 in 2016, Apple opened up limited third-party access to Siri, including third-party messaging apps, as well as payments, ride-sharing, and Internet calling apps. With the release of iOS 11, Apple updated Siri's voices for more clear, human voices, started supporting follow-up questions and language translation, and additional third-party actions.

Siri's original release on iPhone 4S in 2011 received mixed reviews. It received praise for its voice recognition and contextual knowledge of user information, including calendar appointments, but was criticized for requiring stiff user commands and having a lack of flexibility. It was also criticized for lacking information on certain nearby places, and for its inability to understand certain English accents. In 2016 and 2017, a number of media reports have indicated that Siri is lacking in innovation, particularly against new competing voice assistants from other technology companies. The reports concerned Siri's limited set of features, "bad" voice recognition, and undeveloped service integrations as causing trouble for Apple in the field of artificial intelligence and cloud-based services; the basis for the complaints reportedly due to stifled development, as caused by Apple's prioritization of user privacy and executive power struggles within the company.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app used globally, created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, former students at Stanford University, and developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc.

One of the principal features of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are usually only available for a short time before they become inaccessible to their recipients. The app has evolved from originally focusing on person-to-person photo sharing to presently featuring users' "Stories" of 24 hours of chronological content, along with "Discover", letting brands show ad-supported short-form content.

Snapchat has become notable for representing a new, mobile-first direction for social media, and places significant emphasis on users interacting with virtual stickers and augmented reality objects. As of February 2018, Snapchat has 187 million daily active users.

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On is the sixth studio album by Funkadelic, released on Westbound Records, released in July of 1974.

On this album, the lyrics generally take a backseat to the music and the jamming. It is one of the most popular Funkadelic albums among fans, and considered an essential album for fans of lead guitarist Eddie Hazel. Hazel co-wrote all of the album's songs, although the songwriting credits were mostly in the name of Grace Cook, Hazel's mother (a gambit by Hazel to avoid contractual difficulties with the publishing rights).

Vox Media

Vox Media, Inc. is an American digital media company based in Washington, D.C. and New York City. The company was founded in July 2005 as SportsBlogs Inc. by Jerome Armstrong, Tyler Bleszinski, and Markos Moulitsas, and was rebranded as Vox Media in 2011. The company operates additional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and London. In June 2010, the network featured over 300 sites with over 400 paid writers. In September 2018, Comscore ranked Vox Media as the 30th-most popular media company among users from the United States.Vox Media owns six editorial brands—The Verge, Vox, SB Nation, Eater, Polygon, and Curbed—as well as, formerly, Racked and Recode. Vox Media's brands are built on Concert, a publisher-led market place for advertising, and Chorus, its proprietary content management system. The company's lines of business include the publishing platform Chorus, Concert, Vox Creative, Vox Entertainment, and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Windows 10

Windows 10 is a series of personal computer operating systems produced by Microsoft as part of its Windows NT family of operating systems. It is the successor to Windows 8.1, and was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and broadly released for retail sale on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10 which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.One of Windows 10's most notable features is support for universal apps, an expansion of the Metro-style apps first introduced in Windows 8. Universal apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍—‌including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Mixed Reality. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices‍—‌particularly on 2-in-1 PCs, both interfaces include an updated Start menu which incorporates elements of Windows 7's traditional Start menu with the tiles of Windows 8. Windows 10 also introduced the Microsoft Edge web browser, a virtual desktop system, a window and desktop management feature called Task View, support for fingerprint and face recognition login, new security features for enterprise environments, and DirectX 12.

Windows 10 received mostly positive reviews upon its original release in July 2015. Critics praised Microsoft's decision to provide a desktop-oriented interface in line with previous versions of Windows, contrasting the tablet-oriented approach of 8, although Windows 10's touch-oriented user interface mode was criticized for containing regressions upon the touch-oriented interface of Windows 8. Critics also praised the improvements to Windows 10's bundled software over Windows 8.1, Xbox Live integration, as well as the functionality and capabilities of the Cortana personal assistant and the replacement of Internet Explorer with Edge. However, media outlets have been critical of changes to operating system behaviors, including mandatory update installation, privacy concerns over data collection performed by the OS for Microsoft and its partners and the adware-like tactics used to promote the operating system on its release.Microsoft aimed to have Windows 10 installed on at least one billion devices in the two to three years following its release (which hasn't happened four years later). It became more popular than Windows 7 (though in 2019 Windows 7 is still more used in Africa and countries elsewhere, e.g in Asia). As of April 2019, the operating system has an estimated usage share of 56% of all the Windows versions on traditional PCs, and thus 45% of traditional PCs run Windows 10. Across all platforms (PC, mobile, tablet and console), 40% of devices run some kind of Windows, Windows 10 or older.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spanish: Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios) is a 1988 Spanish black comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Carmen Maura and Antonio Banderas. The film brought Almodóvar to widespread international attention: it was nominated for the 1988 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and won five Goya Awards including Best Film and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Maura.

The actual Spanish title refers to an ataque de nervios, which is not actually well translated as "nervous breakdown" (crisis nerviosa). Ataques de nervios are culture-bound psychological phenomena during which the individual, most often female, displays dramatic outpouring of negative emotions, bodily gestures, occasional falling to the ground, and fainting, often in response to receiving disturbing news or witnessing or participating in an upsetting event. Historically, this condition has been associated with hysteria and more recently in the scientific literature with post-traumatic stress and panic attacks.

Xbox One

Xbox One is a line of eighth generation home video game consoles developed by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox family. It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. The Xbox One line mainly competes against consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.

Moving away from its predecessor's PowerPC-based architecture, Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One's controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360's, with a redesigned body, D-pad, and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing, as well as social networking features, and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay, or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Disc, and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide. The console optionally included a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the "Kinect 2.0", providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition.

Xbox One received mostly positive reviews for its refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation. Its quieter and cooler design was praised for making the console more reliable than its predecessor on-launch, but the console was generally criticized for running games at a technically lower graphical level than the PlayStation 4. Its original user interface was panned for being nonintuitive, although changes made to it and other aspects of the console's software post-launch received positive reception. Its Kinect received praise for its improved motion-tracking accuracy, its face recognition logins, and its voice commands.

The original Xbox One model was succeeded by Xbox One S in 2016, which has a smaller form factor and support for HDR10 high-dynamic-range video, as well as support for 4K video playback and upscaling of games from 1080p to 4K. It was praised for its smaller size, its on-screen visual improvements, and its lack of an external power supply, but its regressions such as the lack of a native Kinect port were noted. A high-end model, Xbox One X, was unveiled in June 2017 and released in November; it features upgraded hardware specifications, and support for rendering games at 4K resolution.

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