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911 outages have become a fact of life — are we even fixing this?

911

In 2014, after what we described as “frequent failures,” a previous administration’s FCC attempted to change how the United States’ emergency 911 system works, including making it clear who’s responsible when multiple states inexplicably lose the ability to dial 911 at once.

Some of that accountability might have come in handy this week — because we still don’t know what caused yesterday’s 911 outage. And it’s not clear anything would change even if we knew.

Yesterday, 911 services reportedly disappeared in at least 14 states nationwide, some for as long as an hour and a half. Police departments and public safety agencies across the country had to hand out alternative numbers to call — and in some cases, warn residents not to dial 911...

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Apple outage affected App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, iCloud, P

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Many Apple services were hit by outages Tuesday evening, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Arcade, according to Apple’s system status page. For a majority of the affected services, Apple vaguely said that “some users were affected,” though for AppleCare in iOS and Apple School Manager, Apple said “all users were affected.”

Here are some of the services that were affected at one point in time. Apple’s status page says that 25 outages were resolved today.

  • Find My
  • Game Center
  • iCloud Account & Sign In
  • iCloud Backup
  • iCloud Calendar
  • iCloud Contacts
  • iCloud Mail
  • iCloud Web Apps (iCloud.com)
  • iWork for iCloud
  • Photos
  • Apple Arcade
  • Apple Music
  • Apple Music radio
  • Apple TV Plus
  • Radio
  • App Store
  • Apple Books

Apple hasn’t...

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Twitter’s voice tweets are rolling out to more iOS users, and transc

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitter has just expanded its voice tweets feature, which lets you record a snippet of audio to include with a tweet, to more users on iOS. But perhaps more significantly, Twitter is now saying it plans to add transcriptions to voice tweets to improve accessibility, which could help address criticisms from the feature’s June 17th launch.

If you want to get an idea of how voice tweets work right now, just press play on the below tweet to hear a voice clip from my colleague Tom Warren. There’s currently no way to see captions or a transcription of what he’s saying. (Note: Tom is not actually sharing exclusive next-gen console news.)

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Cyberpunk 2077 dev breaks promise, will force employees to work six da

Image: CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has told employees that six-day workweeks will be mandatory ahead of the game’s November 19th release date, even though the studio has repeatedly and explicitly promised it would never do that, Bloomberg reports.

On two separate occasions in 2019, studio co-founder Marcin Iwiński told game journalist Jason Schreier how it would address crunch, once even saying that “we want to be more humane and treat people with respect.” It seemed pretty clear from excerpts like this that mandatory crunch was not going to be part of it!

Jason: If I’m a designer at CD Projekt Red and I say you know what I have kids, I have a family, I’m going to work from 10am to 6pm every day, and that’s it. Even until the...

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Here’s what the new Chromecast’s Google TV software looks like

All indications point to Google announcing its latest Chromecast during tomorrow’s hardware event. And I managed to buy one yesterday even before the “official” unveiling. So I can now confirm that, as the rumors and leaks have made clear over the last few weeks, this isn’t the Chromecast that most consumers are familiar with.

Instead of a no-frills TV dongle that plays content sent over from the apps on your phone or computer, the new Chromecast finally has a proper menu system and familiar user interface — and now it comes with an actual remote control.

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

It’s a Chromecast in name, but Google’s latest streaming device is...

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Spotify’s exclusive Michelle Obama podcast will be available on othe

Spotify

Spotify made major headlines last year when it announced an exclusive podcast deal with the Obamas’ production studio Higher Ground. Today, the company made a perplexing about-face. The company says it’ll be releasing the first season of The Michelle Obama Podcast on “a number” of other podcast listening platforms starting tomorrow, September 30th — two weeks after the show’s season 1 finale.

The company hasn’t detailed which platforms will have the show, but it’s in conversations with several, including Stitcher, Google, Apple, and iHeart. A Spotify spokesperson says future seasons, if the show’s renewed, will “debut exclusively” on Spotify, but didn’t say whether the show will be windowed or fully exclusive to the service.

Obama’s...

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Dell announces new XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1 with Tiger Lake processors

The Dell XPS 13 sits on a desk with a marble background. The new Dell XPS 13, the best laptop of 2020 so far, is getting a refresh. | Dell

Dell has announced new refreshes to its XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1. Both are powered by Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors and will be available in the US and Canada on October 1st (and more countries in the coming weeks). The XPS 13 starts at $999; the 2-in-1 starts at $1,249. The new XPS was first teased onstage at Intel’s Tiger Lake launch earlier this month.

The upgrades mostly look like spec bumps. In addition to the new processors, both models have received a memory update: they’re now running LPDDR4x at 4,267MHz, rather than 3,733MHz. Like many other Tiger Lake flagships, they’ll also support Thunderbolt 4 and Intel’s Xe integrated graphics.

The 2-in-1 has also gotten a similar redesign to one that the early-2020 XPS received....

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Here’s why PC builders are demanding to know how many capacitors are

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Following multiple reports of third-party Nvidia RTX 3080 cards crashing, PC builders are now trying to figure out how many capacitors are in their new GPU.

That’s right: capacitors. On Friday, concerned buyers stumbled upon one theory for the crashes: a site called Igor’s Lab speculated that Nvidia’s partners were cheaping out on the capacitors used in their third-party RTX 3080s. And over the weekend, that theory spread: numerous outlets cited Igor’s Lab to publish headlines like “NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Stability Woes Traced To Cheap Capacitors” and “Capacitor issues are causing RTX 3080/3090 crashes.”

A day later, it appeared there might actually be some evidence that capacitors could have caused the cards to crash. EVGA weighed in...

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DuckDuckGo slams Google’s Android search engine auction as ‘fundam

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft’s Bing search engine has beaten out competitor DuckDuckGo and will now be offered as an option for Android users during setup in select European countries, according to the results of Google’s most recent default search engine auction. DuckDuckGo, previously the most frequently offered alternative, was not pleased, and the company slammed Google’s auction process as pay-to-play.

“This EU antitrust remedy is only serving to further strengthen Google’s dominance in mobile search by boxing out alternative search engines that consumers want to use and, for those search engines that remain, taking most of their profits from the preference menu,” DuckDuckGo wrote in a blog post published yesterday. “The auction model is...

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel will arrive on Prime Video in late

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel to Borat, his iconic and controversial 2006 satirical documentary, is coming to Amazon’s Prime Video at the end of next month, according to Deadline.

Cohen filmed the movie in secret shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the US, and Collider reports the British comedian has screened it for select film industry figures. But given the current pandemic-induced shutdowns of movie theaters throughout the country, Amazon has stepped in to acquire the streaming rights.

Little is known about the movie except its official title: Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan, according to a leak on a Writers Guild of America...

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