facebook
Facebook Researchers Used Celebrity Bitmoji to Help Create VR Avatars

Researchers at Facebook AI Research and Tel Aviv University school of computer science published a preprint paper outlining how they created an automatic process to create VR avatars. The company’s new Facebook Spaces “social” VR venture launched this week. Read More >>

gaming
The New Rick and Morty Game Is One of the Best VR Experiences You Can Play

Growing up, one of my favorite CD-ROM games was called The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield. As games go, it wasn’t that advanced, but it let me take a virtual, interactive tour through my favorite television show. The game had in-jokes from the show, voices from the cast, and perfect attention to detail. It was awesome. Read More >>

rumours
Nintendo Might Be Preparing a Mini SNES For Christmas

Last week, Nintendo dealt a crushing blow to retro gaming fans when it announced that it was discontinuing the uber-popular NES Classic Edition. We’re still not sure what Nintendo was thinking—most companies do not choose to discontinue products that get such great reviews and sell out immediately and consistently across the globe—but the good news is, we might see a mini Super Nintendo at the end of the year. Read More >>

youtube
YouTube Is Officially in the Live TV Game Now

YouTube TV — the cordcutting service Google teased six weeks ago — is now available in five US cities. People in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Philadelphia, or Chicago, can sign up for the $35 (£28) a month live TV bundle right now. Read More >>

science
Motorola’s Terrible ‘Rap Video’ Is a Great Reminder of Its Irrelevance

Forty-four years ago this week, Motorola placed the first phone call from a mobile phone. That’s a genuinely big moment, and as someone who is glued to my smartphone for at least 18 hours a day, I’m very glad that happened. Read More >>

apple
iOS 10.3 Won’t Robocall Emergency Services Anymore

Apple released iOS 10.3 this week, and in addition to a new file system and a built-in “Find My AirPods” app, the new update also fixes a very important bug that could allow arseholes to robocall 911. Read More >>

design
These Flip Flops Are ‘Smart’ for the Dumbest Possible Reason

Shoe brand Hari Mari has a new line of flip flops done in partnership with baseball glove maker Nokona. These aren’t just any flip flops, though. They have a special chip inside of them that makes them smart. Allegedly. Read More >>

samsung
For Some Reason, Samsung Might Sell Refurbished Versions of Its Exploding Phones

The Galaxy Note 7 is a huge black mark for Samsung—an exploding embarrassment that cost the company tonnes of money and kicked off one of the biggest PR nightmares in recent memory. But despite the global recall, the jokes on late night TV, and the fact that the US FAA and other agencies banned the phone from air travel, Samsung might sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7s in the future. That’s... certainly a choice! Read More >>

reviews
Fitbit Alta HR Is the Best Fitness Tracker for Normal People

Let’s face it, the world of fitness trackers has plateaued. Most people who want a fitness tracker already have one, and more than a few of us have old trackers shoved away in a drawer, useless because the charging cable mysteriously disappeared, or because the company who made it decided it didn’t care anymore and killed the software (RIP Nike FuelBand). Read More >>

music
Streaming Music Services, From Most Screwed to Least Screwed

SoundCloud is fucked. On Thursday, the streaming music service mostly known as a place to hear podcasts and remixes from unknown DJs confirmed that it had taken $70 million (£56 million) in debt funding—basically a loan from various investors—in order to stay in business. Read More >>

wtf
Genius Behind Suicide Squad Claims Trump Has ‘Perfect Genes’ and Doesn’t Eat McDonald’s

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Trump appointee also known as one of the executive producers of the Oscar-winning (*shudder*) film Suicide Squad, was interviewed by Axios’s Mike Allen on Friday, and he had some insane things to say about our president. Read More >>

apple
You Can Get a Red iPhone Now

Apple’s online store was down for maintenance this morning, leaving us all in wonder as to what mystery product would soon be available to purchase. Would it be a new iPad Pro? A souped-up MacBook? The mass-availability of AirPods? Not quite, but there is now a red iPhone 7 or 7 Plus! Read More >>

allcade 64 bit review
This £127 Console Gave Me Every Nintendo Game I’ve Ever Owned in 4K

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with retro video games. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited about the NES Classic Edition; it’s also why I spent my Thanksgiving documenting how to put together a Raspberry Pi-based mini SNES instead of brining turkeys. But building an emulation console from scratch takes time, and I’ve was curious if there was a more streamlined, turnkey solution. That’s when I happened across a Kickstarter for the Allcade 64-bit, a Raspberry Pi 3-based system in a housing that looked just like a classic Nintendo 64 cartridge. It promises all the cool hackery Pi-vibe with none of the command line or soldering. Read More >>

google
Google Wants to Make Your Images Take Up Less Space

For years, Google has been trying to reduce how space images take up on the web. Most of those efforts have been based around its proprietary (and largely ignored by non-Google entities) WebP format, but a new project out of the company’s research and open source divisions could help make JPEG images—one of the most common image formats on the planet—up to 35 per cent smaller, while retaining their quality. Read More >>