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Byte is about to pay $250,000 to creators for good videos

Image: Byte

Byte plans to start paying creators in April, offering $250,000 in total payouts to the first group of creators in its partner program.

The program will be fairly limited at first. Only up to 100 creators will be included, and they have to apply and be chosen by Byte. Byte says it’s looking for people who regularly post, make full-screen portrait videos, and are positive members of the community.

Byte will pay partners every 30 days based on their viewership. Creators will be put into “Viewership Brackets,” and everyone in the same bracket will be paid the same amount. The company doesn’t give specifics on how much creators can expect to make.

It’s a small start, but it’s nonetheless...

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Audi announces three-motor performance versions of the E-Tron

Images: Audi

Audi will make and sell sportier performance versions of its E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback electric cars powered by a three-motor system, the company announced on Friday. The news comes as parent company Volkswagen says it has tapped Audi to “take the lead for research and development” for the entire Volkswagen Group.

The new performance models will be dubbed E-Tron S and E-Tron Sportback S, and Audi says they’ll be “more agile, sharper and more dynamic” than the non-S variants. That’s all thanks to the addition of a third electric motor (two on the rear axle, one on the front) that bumps the total power from 265kW to 320kW, or 370kW in an eight-second boost mode. (That’s roughly 350, 429, and 496 horsepower, respectively.) Both vehicles...

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The World Health Organization has joined TikTok to fight coronavirus m

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The World Health Organization launched a TikTok account on Friday as part of its efforts to cut through coronavirus misinformation online. A specialized public health agency of the United Nations, WHO is one of the leading organizations working to contain the spread of the virus.

In WHO’s first video, Benedetta Allegranzi, technical lead of infection prevention and control, describes measures people can take to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus and directs them to the organization’s website for additional information.

“We are joining [TikTok] to provide you with reliable and timely public health advice,” WHO wrote in the description of its first video.

TikTok has been flooded with memes about the novel coronavirus over the...

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The Catholic Church proposes AI regulations that ‘protect people’

Photo: Pontifical Academy for Life

Vatican officials are calling for stricter ethical standards on the development of artificial intelligence, with tech giants IBM and Microsoft being the first companies to sign its new initiative.

The “Rome Call for AI Ethics” lays out six broad principles: transparency, inclusion, responsibility, impartiality, reliability, and security and privacy. These principles say that technology should “protect people,” particularly the “weak and underprivileged.” They also urge policymakers across the world to create new forms of regulation on “advanced technologies that have a higher risk of impacting human rights,” which includes facial recognition.

“AI is incredibly promising...

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Moment will stop developing its Pro Camera app for Android

Image credit: Moment

Moment has informed users that it will no longer be developing its Moment Pro Camera app for Android (via Android Police). The app isn’t required to use Moment’s lenses, but it provided additional controls for serious photographers. Moment blames the difficulty of making the app compatible across the many different versions of Android made by phone makers.

“We love Android,” said co-founder Marc Barros in an email to Moment customers that was shared with The Verge, “but unfortunately, we don’t have the engineering bandwidth to continue developing this app.”

Here’s Barros’ explanation of the challenges in developing the Android app, from his email:

The short story is that phone makers like to create their own flavor of Android, each with...

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Facebook Messenger is getting a much simpler new design

Photo by Amelia Krales / The Verge

Facebook Messenger is getting even simpler with the removal of the Discover tab, which was an attempt from the social network to inject its ill-fated chatbot platform into its private messaging app. The change was first announced in August of last year, and TechCrunch now reports that the switchover will begin happening starting next week.

Following an extensive Messenger redesign announced back in 2018, Facebook pledged to make the app simpler and less cluttered after years of bloat, a direct result of the do-everything design philosophy Messenger followed under chief David Marcus. (Marcus is now in charge of Facebook’s blockchain division, which oversees the company’s Libra cryptocurrency project.)

Now, under the leadership of former...

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Disney’s massive media empire leads to a bizarre Pixar and Simpsons

The first time a non-Pixar title was shown before a Pixar feature film in theaters, it was in November 2017 when Olaf’s Frozen Adventure played before Coco. Although the piece was contentious among filmgoers, the pairing made sense: Frozen was Disney’s biggest animated film in years, and the crossover between Frozen and Coco audiences was obvious.

Now, Disney is rolling out another non-Pixar short before of a Pixar movie, but this one is less sensical: The Simpsons in a short called Playdate with Destiny. A tweet from the official Simpsons account confirmed that a short would open before Onward, Pixar’s new movie with Tom Holland and Chris Pratt.

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Google and Amazon limit employees’ travel because of coronavirus fea

Google UK Offices, London Photo by Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

Google is preventing employees from traveling to Italy, Iran, Japan, and South Korea because of outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, Business Insider reported. Amazon is asking employees to defer all nonessential travel, a spokesperson confirmed to The Verge, which includes domestic travel within the US.

Both companies had already halted employee travel to China, and Google temporarily closed down its offices in China at the end of January.

A Google employee in Zurich, Switzerland, has the novel coronavirus, a spokesperson confirmed to The Verge. “They were in the Zurich office for a limited time, before they had any symptoms,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Amazon senior vice president Dave Clark wrote in an email that employees...

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Who’s afraid of the novel coronavirus?

Conservatives Gather At Annual CPAC Event Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Every horror story begins with a pause, a held breath, when nobody is quite sure what to make of the unfolding situation. When’s a good time to panic? My favorites put off answering the question for as long as they can.

For the last few days I’ve been thinking about Severance, the prizewinning 2018 novel by the author Ling Ma, because of its premise: a fungal fever in China spreads across the globe and kills millions, decimating society. It feels ominous that the situation with the novel coronavirus is even passingly similar, even though Ma’s book is set in an alternate past.

In 2011, just after Occupy Wall Street, people start to get sick in Shenzhen, and it spreads from there across the world. By the time it hits New York, people...

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Apple made an ad to highlight the history of MacBooks in anime

Apple has made a new commercial featuring MacBooks (and MacBook-like laptops) from popular anime. The clips come from Mr. Osomatsu, New Game!, Keroro Gunsou, Your Name, Weathering With You, and more, according to Polygon’s resident anime expert Julia Lee.

The video spot shows how pervasive Apple laptops have become in popular culture. I found it particularly interesting that even though many of the laptops featured don’t actually have the Apple logo on them, they’re all instantly recognizable as MacBook-esque because of their clean silver lines, black keyboards, and some kind of small logo embossed on the back.

And some of those alternate takes on the Apple logo are pretty fun — here’s a few I screencapped:

And it’s not just MacBooks...

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