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Netflix has been screening new shows and movies among subscribers before their release

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix has been showing movies and TV shows ahead of their public release to small groups of subscribers in the US, according to a report from Variety. Subscribers who participate in the feedback panels will watch “several upcoming movies and series over the course of about six months,” Variety says, and after they finish watching a piece of content, they’re asked to fill out a survey. The company then takes that feedback into account for potential changes ahead of a film or show’s debut.

Netflix is well-known for testing many of its software features ahead of wider releases, like the Top 10 row and the “Play Something” shuffle feature, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that the company is also testing its content with small groups of...

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Published on 18 May 2022 | 12:19 am

Disney Plus with ads will keep the breaks down to four minutes per hour

Image: Disney

When Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan goes live later this year, it will reportedly run ads for four minutes on movies or shows that last an hour or less, according to reports from Variety and The Wall Street Journal.

As Variety points out, this would make Disney offer fewer ads per hour than some of its competitors. NBC’s Peacock runs no more than five minutes of ads for every hour of content, while HBO Max shows four minutes of ads per hour. Disney Plus’ planned number of ads even beats the Disney-owned Hulu, which runs anywhere from nine to 12 ads in one hour.

As for the content of the ads themselves, the company is reportedly taking a cautious approach to maintain its family-friendly image. Disney isn’t just cutting out ads that may...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 11:33 pm

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s first trailer looks simply smashing

She-Hulk showing up at an event. | Disney

Though Bruce Banner’s been one of the most physically powerful people running around Marvel’s movies for years at this point, that’s all about to change this summer as his cousin Jennifer Walters makes her way to MCU in Disney Plus’ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. While both Hulks make appearances in She-Hulk’s first trailer, the show’s clearly going to be Jennifer’s to own as she embarks on her own path to heroism.

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’s first trailer introduces Jennifer at a tricky point in her already complicated life. Because the world’s filled with so many villains committing super crimes, Jennifer’s legal skills put her in high demand, but she isn’t quite certain that’s the kind of force for justice she wants to be. That soul...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 10:32 pm

The defunct LG Wing is getting Verizon C-band, because 5G in this country is silly

The LG Wing is cleared for takeoff on Verizon’s newest 5G spectrum. | Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Verizon announced this week that the LG Wing will be getting an update that will allow it to use Verizon’s newest 5G spectrum — over a year after LG left the smartphone business altogether. The LG Wing has been certified to use mid-band spectrum called C-band, an important piece of Verizon’s 5G network that delivers better-than-LTE speeds and wide-ranging signal. Verizon spokesperson George Koroneos says that the update started arriving on devices yesterday and will continue to be pushed out through the rest of the week.

That’s good news if you’re one of the few people who bought an LG Wing, and really a testament to LG for making good on its promise to keep providing some support for its devices. But why is a one-and-a-half-year-old...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 10:08 pm

Netflix is laying off 150 employees and cutting dozens from its Tudum fansite

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is laying off around 150 employees as well as dozens of contractors following a disappointing earnings report, citing “slowing revenue growth,” as first reported by Variety.

A source familiar with the situation tells The Verge the cuts include at least 26 contractors working on the company’s fan-focused Tudum website, which serves as a supplement to Netflix’s content. Prior to this recent round of layoffs, Netflix cut around 25 marketing roles, including close to a dozen who worked on Tudum. The 26 workers laid off today were informed of the move in a mass email, which Netflix spokesperson Erika Masonhall said was sent by the contracting company.

The streaming giant told The Verge that most employees affected by the layoffs are...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 9:02 pm

Apple slows return to office, will let employees stay remote and require masks in common spaces

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple is delaying moving forward on its hybrid return to work for office employees, saying in a memo seen by The Verge and (reported earlier by Bloomberg) that “we are extending the phase-in period of the pilot and maintaining two days a week in the office for the time being.” Employees who are in the current two-day-per-week pilot will have the option to once again work fully remote if they feel uncomfortable coming into the office,

In the memo, the company’s COVID-19 response team says that its updates are based on monitoring local info like test positivity and hospitalization rates. The memo also asks employees to go back to wearing masks when in common areas like meeting rooms, hallways, and elevators. The Bloomberg report added...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 8:40 pm

As the Overwatch 2 beta ends, a new Overwatch remix event begins

Image: Blizzard

The Overwatch 2 beta is now over. If you were one of the lucky handful that were able to snag an invite, congratulations. If not, don’t worry. There will likely be more opportunities to try out Overwatch 2 in the future.

One of those opportunities could be revealed during an Overwatch 2 event slated for June 16th.

Overwatch 2 game director Adam Keller thanked the beta participants and shared some thoughts about what it meant to the developers to see players’ reactions to the game, saying, “It can be scary putting...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 8:10 pm

Alexa Together review: keeping tabs on Dad

For $20 a month, the service provides peace of mind, but many of its features should be free

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 7:50 pm

PS5 console covers will be available in three new galactic colors in June

The new covers are available for preorder now. | Image: Sony

The PlayStation 5 is getting three new console cover colors — starlight blue, galactic purple, and nova pink — on June 17th, but preorders are open on PlayStation Direct right now. All three colors are available in the US, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Sony has been slowly releasing accessories to make its PS5 more customizable, starting with the custom console covers it announced last December. Despite previewing a full range of colors, it only released the black and red options...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 7:01 pm

Noctua stuck its big brown desktop PC fans on an RTX 3080

Asus says the card is the quietest in its class. | Image: Asus

Asus has teamed up with renowned fan manufacturer Noctua once again to make a large brown and tan graphics card that should pump out frames while staying relatively quiet. The two companies’ last collaboration was an RTX 3070, but now they’ve announced a decidedly enthusiast tier card: an RTX 3080.

According to Noctua’s press release, the card features two 120mm fans and a custom heatsink, making it “the quietest air-cooled graphics card in its class.” Apart from the fancy cooling, it’s a relatively standard Asus graphics card with two BIOS profiles, a backplate, and 10GB of GDDR6X RAM. There are 3080s with 12GB of memory, but that doesn’t seem to be an option with the Noctua heatsink.

The card will go on sale “starting early June 2022,”...

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Published on 17 May 2022 | 7:00 pm