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Google is kicking ‘sugar dating’ apps out of the Play Store

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

“Sugar dating” apps will not be allowed on the Android Play Store from September 1st, Google has announced as part of a series of policy changes for the platform. The change, which was first reported by Android Police, specifically prohibits apps relating to “compensated sexual relationships.” Other changes coming to the platform include a new crackdown on inactive developer accounts, Google says.

Traditionally, sugar dating relationships involve older, wealthier individuals dating and showering younger partners with gifts. As Android Police notes, there’s no shortage of apps on the Play Store designed around setting up “sugar daddy” relationships. None of them explicitly say that older men are expected to compensate younger women for...

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Bang & Olufsen launches its first pair of noise-canceling true wireles

The Beoplay EQ are available in gold (pictured) and black. | Image: Bang and Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EQ are the Danish audio brand’s first pair of noise-canceling true wireless headphones. Two microphones on each earbud handle noise cancellation duties alongside an extra mic for making calls, for a total of six across the two earbuds. They’re releasing globally on August 19th in black and gold.

At $399 (£359 / €399), the Beoplay EQ are around $50 more expensive than B&O’s non-noise-canceling Beoplay E8 earbuds were at launch. They don’t feature the third-generation E8’s formidable battery life, which tops out at 35 hours of total charge from the earbuds and case combined. Instead, the Beoplay EQ can run for around 20 hours when used with the charging case. Battery life from the earbuds themselves is about the...

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Robot arranges 100,000 dominoes into a Super Mario Bros. mural in one

Engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober has created a robot that can make domino murals at lightning speed, and has shown it off with a video of it arranging 100,000 dominoes into a Super Mario Bros.-themed mural in just over 24 hours. Rober says it would take a team of seven humans a week to do the same thing.

The robot, named the “Dominator,” achieves this by putting down 300 dominoes at a time — which are, of course, loaded into it by another robot. Rober says in the video that the current version of the Dominator is the culmination of years of work from him and his team, and he goes into how the device actually works, as well as showing some of the failed designs that led to the final product.

If the name Mark Rober rings a bell, it may be...

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Samsung boosts profits and pledges to ‘mainstream’ foldables

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Samsung Electronics has released its second-quarter earnings, reporting 20 percent higher revenue and 54 percent higher operating profit year-on-year despite its mobile division taking a hit due to component shortages. The company made an operating profit of 12.57 trillion won (~$10.97 billion) off 63.67 trillion won (~$55.56 billion) in revenue.

Samsung says its mobile business suffered from the industry-wide component shortage as well as “production disruptions” in its Vietnam factories, some of which were closed after a COVID outbreak. Combined with weak seasonality resulting in less demand, revenue declined from the previous quarter, though it was still up year-on-year.

The semiconductor business continues to be Samsung’s biggest...

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The best deals on MacBooks right now

MacBook Air (late-2020).

With multiple configurations and various models to choose from, including some equipped with Apple’s new M1 processor, finding a deal on a MacBook or Mac Mini is not all that difficult.

We’ll run through discounts currently available for the latest MacBook models as well as any deals to be had on the Mac Mini. Of course, there are also frequent discounts available for older Intel-based configurations — all of which will be compatible with macOS Monterey upon its release in the fall — and we’ll also highlight those when we find them.

Alternatively, purchasing refurbished is another way to save money on an Apple computer. Apple’s refurbished store provides a one-year warranty on all products and generally has discounts of 15- to...

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Netflix will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations on productions in the US

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix will require the casts and some crew on its productions in the US to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a measure that comes as the Delta variant continues to spread across the country.

Deadline first reported that the streaming giant recently notified its production teams that it would require casts and crew working in “Zone A” on US productions to be vaccinated. Deadline described this classification as including both cast members and those who are in close contact with them. According to the report, Netflix plans to make few exceptions to the new vaccination policy, with exclusions including age, medical, and religious reasons.

Netflix confirmed the measure to The Verge but declined to comment further.

Similar measures have been...

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Amazon’s older Kindles will start to lose their internet access in D

Kindle Voyage lead

Amazon’s Kindle e-readers with built-in 3G will begin to lose the ability to connect to the internet on their own in the US in December, according to an email sent to customers on Wednesday. The change is due to mobile carriers transitioning from older 2G and 3G networking technology to newer 4G and 5G networks. For older Kindles without Wi-Fi, this change could mean not connecting to the internet at all.

As Good e-Reader first noted in June, newer Kindle devices with 4G support should be fine, but for older devices that shipped with support for 3G and Wi-Fi like the Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation), Kindle Touch (4th generation), Kindle Paperwhite (4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th generation), Kindle Voyage (7th generation), and Kindle Oasis (8th...

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How Instagram can take its child safety work even further

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In May, I wrote here that the child safety problem on tech platforms is worse than we knew. A disturbing study from the nonprofit organization Thorn found that the majority of American children were using apps years before they are supposed to be — and fully a quarter of them said they have had sexually explicit interactions with adults. That puts the onus on platforms to do a better job in both identifying child users of their services and to protect them from the abuse they might find there.

Instagram has now made some promising moves in that direction. Yesterday, the company said that it would:

  • Make accounts private by default for children 16 and younger
  • Hide teens’ accounts from adults who have engaged in suspicious behavior, such...

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Facebook will require US office employees to be vaccinated

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook will require its US employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they return to the office, the company confirmed to The Verge on Wednesday.

“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook’s vice president of people Lori Goler said in a statement. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves. We continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”

Facebook expects to reopen offices in the US fully in...

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The best Chromebook for 2021

Best Chromebooks 2020: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge

The best Chromebook laptop or two-in-one for every Chrome OS fan

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