Expect a marathon of announcements next week
Amazon is holding an event next week to announce new devices, features, and services. The fully virtual event will kick off at 9AM PT / 12PM ET on September 28th and is expected to include the usual deluge of Amazon devices announcements just in time for fall. Amazon confirmed the event in an email invitation to The Verge today.
It’s reasonable to assume there will be new Echo devices, new Ring products or services, and perhaps some surprises, too. Last year’s Amazon fall devices event was chock-full of news, including its new Astro home robot, the Echo Show 15, a Fibit-like fitness tracker, and even a new smart thermostat.
There haven’t been any substantial rumors about what to expect from Amazon this year, but as it has been two years since the last main Echo update, it’s possible the company could opt to refresh or update the device this year. Despite Amazon announcing it’s acquiring Roomba robot vacuum maker iRobot earlier this year, that deal hasn’t closed yet so we probably won’t be hearing anything more about any potential iRobot and Amazon integration.
Either way, stay tuned to The Verge on September 28th as we’ll be covering all the news from Amazon’s annual product launch marathon live as it happens.
Adnan is out.
Yesterday, a Baltimore City Circuit judge overturned the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, setting him free — for the moment — after serving 23 years in a case documented by the podcast Serial. This morning, host Sarah Koenig released Serial’s first new episode in seven years.
It’s Baltimore, 2022. Adnan Syed has spent the last 23 years incarcerated, serving a life sentence for the murder of Hae Min Lee, a crime he says he didn’t commit. He has exhausted every legal avenue for relief, including a petition to the United States Supreme Court. But then, a prosecutor in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office stumbled upon two handwritten notes in Adnan’s case file, and that changed everything.
James VincentTwo hours ago
For every living human there are 2.5 million ants, say scientists, unprompted.
I honestly don’t know what to do with this information, which comes via The Washington Post. This is just one guy’s opinion, but it seems like an awful lot of ants. Like God accidentally maxed out the ant-slider or spilled a bag of “Oops! All ants!” into the biosphere during Creation. What I need is a lie down and to not think about the millions — sorry, 20 quadrillion — of ants out there.
Pixel Watch to start at $349.99?
9to5Google reports that the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi model of the Pixel Watch will start at $349.99, after having previously reported the cellular model will cost $399.99. That puts them above Samsung’s $279.99 Galaxy Watch 5 and closer to what Apple charges (starting at $399 for the Series 8). We’ll know for sure come October 6th.
“Obviously Peacock sucks.”
Kim Masters has a good piece on Warner Brothers Discovery looking for a new DC studio chief, with rampant speculation that the endgame is Comcast buying the whole thing in 2024 to beef up Peacock.
Many top industry execs are so convinced a deal will happen that some are pre-mourning an event that may never happen. “People feel like it’s Comcast for sure,” says the head of one company. “It’s going to be so depressing to lose another major studio [after Disney bought Fox]. And Warners was the Tiffany studio.”
How’s that eSIM-only iPhone working out for you?
In my article about Apple dropping the physical SIM on the iPhone 14, I said it was “probably fine” for people on major US carriers. I also mentioned that my iPhone 11 had a physical Verizon SIM and an eSIM from a carrier in the Netherlands. This weekend I upgraded to an iPhone 14 Pro. The Verizon SIM transferred without a hitch. The other one? Not so much. Guess it’s time to admit to myself that I’m never moving back to Amsterdam.
More testimony on how working at Tesla is a nightmare for women.
Hearing them describe how they were treated, and how Tesla failed to defend them (and sometimes actively punished them) is difficult.
Amazon says streaming Thursday Night Football was a huge success.
The official Nielsen numbers aren’t in, but a memo from Amazon’s Jay Marine says the game was “the most watched night of primetime in the U.S. in the history of Prime Video” and he expects the company exceeded the 12.5 million viewers it promised advertisers.
Amazon can’t go five minutes without pushing an unverifiable and unquantifiable statistic, so Marine also claimed the game was “the biggest three hours for U.S. Prime sign ups ever in the history of Amazon — including Prime Day, Cyber Monday and Black Friday.” Truly the emptiest of data points from the people who run Next Gen Stats Powered By AWS.
It sounds like the DOJ isn’t happy with the Apple v. Epic ruling
According to TechCrunch, the Department of Justice will be allowed to argue its concerns about the original ruling during the appeal trial.
The DOJ is worried the decision as it stands could make future antitrust cases more difficult — which is especially important considering reports that it’s working on its own antitrust action against Apple.
Is the iPhone 13 Pro a sneaky good upgrade deal?
Carriers are all doing huge deals on iPhone 14 models, but if you just want to buy a phone outright, a discounted iPhone 13 Pro might be the best bang-for-the-buck around.
I don’t think this AI-generated game actually counts as AI-generated.
This Girl Does Not Exist promises “everything you will see in this game” is created by an AI. Except… based on everything I’ve read, that includes none of the game mechanics or interface design! It’s an interesting experiment in artificially generated images and audio, but AI-generated gameplay is a uniquely weird and difficult problem. That said, I’m fascinated by the growing move toward an aesthetics of AI — and this project sits square in that zone.
This is an awesome guide to iOS 16 lock screen widgets.
I continue to think they’re the best thing about the new iOS, and the MacStories folks rounded up a huge number of widgets you can try now. They range from pointless and delightful to totally instantly essential — Link Hub, which just opens any link you want, is particularly great.
Music labels are incorporating old songs into new songs to trigger your nostalgia.
The Vergecast is doing a special miniseries for the next three Mondays on the future of music. This week I spoke with music reporter and podcaster Charlie Harding about how the future of music could sound very familiar.
Rick and Morty and the high-wire act of writing antiheroes.
Countless people have discussed the travails of Rick and Morty fandom. But Corbin Smith goes beyond the simple claims that obnoxious fans are just watching the show wrong, delving into the inherent difficulty of writing a character with terrible qualities who’s still undeniably cool to watch. A bonus: he lays out the precise take on Rorschach from Watchmen that I’ve always wanted to read.