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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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Four American astronauts plan to vote from space this year

From left to right, NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, along with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. | Image: NASA

Up to four American astronauts plan to vote in the general election from orbit this year, continuing a long tradition of people casting their ballots from space.

The first astronaut slated to arrive at the ISS ahead of the election is Kate Rubins, who is launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 14th along with two Russian cosmonauts. Rubins told the Associated Press she plans to cast her ballot while in orbit. “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins told the AP. “If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”

She’ll then be joined by three more American astronauts — Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker — who will be on...

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Google Meet won’t limit calls on free plans to 60 minutes until Marc

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is extending its policy that lets free Google Meet users host calls for longer than 60 minutes. The policy was set to expire after September 30th, but now free users can host those longer calls through March 2021.

“As we look ahead to a holiday season with less travel and important milestones like family reunions, PTA meetings and weddings hosted over video, we want to continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months,” said Google Meet’s group product manager, Samir Pradhan, in a blog post. “As a sign of our commitment, today we’re continuing unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts.”

The...

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Our unannounced Google Chromecast didn’t come with Stadia, but it su

Yesterday, we bought the new Google Chromecast, even though it hasn’t yet been announced. Weirdly, it didn’t come with Google Stadia — of the 12 streaming services prominently pictured on the front of the box, Google’s own cloud gaming service wasn’t one of them. We didn’t find it pre-installed on the device, either.

But we can confirm that Stadia absolutely does work on the new “Google TV” device. When The Verge’s Chris Welch sideloaded the Stadia Android app onto his new Chromecast, it fired up our existing cloud games quite nicely. That suggests Google shouldn’t have much issue bringing official support to the Chromecast, assuming it isn’t already doing so at the Google hardware event tomorrow.

And, assuming the $50 price we paid for...

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Utopia might be the most unlucky show of the year

The first thing you see when you begin streaming Utopia on Amazon Prime is a disclaimer. It informs you that the show is a work of fiction not based on “actual, related, or current events.” How strange, you might wonder. What could that mean?

In time, you will discover that, among other things, Utopia is about a conspiracy unfolding across a viral pandemic, after which the disclaimer changes to warn you that Utopia is “not based on an actual pandemic or related events.” It is a show that has the terrible misfortune of being accidentally of this moment, and completely wrong about all of it.

Utopia also bears the burden of being a remake of a bona fide cult hit that aired on Channel 4 in the UK. The British Utopia was stylish,...

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