Sean Hollister, The Verge

Sean Hollister

The Verge

California, United States

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Recent articles by Sean:

This dongle adds USB and microSD storage to your phone charger

Sanho’s Hyper brand has brought us some pretty clever solutions to the shortcomings of today’s smartphones, laptops and tablets for years now, including a sleek, charger-mounted USB-C hub for MacBooks and wireless charging for AirPods before that was cool. By comparison, the Sanho HyperCube is a little bit derivative — but it could be a handy way to automatically backup your iOS or Android… → Read More

There’s no reason to trust Amazon’s Choice

Ever since Amazon introduced its "Amazon’s Choice" label in 2015 to recommend certain products, a skeptical world has been trying to find out what the badge actually means — because some items that are "Amazon’s Choice" really shouldn’t be. Even if a product has the badge and seems to have a high star score, you still might wind up with a stinker that you’d have been warned against if you’d just… → Read More

Google Chrome 76 beta makes it harder to use Flash, easier to dodge paywalls

Google Chrome’s last big feature was dark mode in Chrome 73 and 74, and version 75 didn’t bring much of note, but Chrome 76, in beta today, has some sneaky features you may want to know about, including changes to Flash support, Dark Mode and Incognito Mode. → Read More

Riot Games is officially under investigation for alleged gender discrimination

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing just announced that it’s attempting to legally force League of Legends developer Riot Games to cough up employee pay data so it can see whether Riot is paying women less than men. Riot has refused to provide that data voluntarily, according to the agency. → Read More

San Francisco says it will use AI to reduce bias when charging people with crimes

San Francisco is announcing a "bias mitigation tool" that uses basic AI techniques to automatically redact information from police reports that could identify a suspect’s race. It’s designed to be a way to keep prosecutors from being influenced by racial bias when deciding whether someone gets charged with a crime. The tool will be ready in early July. → Read More

Bird just bought its way into San Francisco by purchasing its rival Scoot

Last August, San Francisco welcomed some electric scooters back into its midst, but it gave Bird (and Lime) the finger — making the city an afterthought in the scooter wars. But now, Bird has bought its way back into the city by purchasing Scoot, one of the two scooter companies that did get permits to operate in SF. → Read More

Firefox’s new logo has more fire, less fox

They warned us that it was coming, and now it’s here: Mozilla took the wraps off its new logo for the storied Firefox web browser today — and the overarching logo for Mozilla’s whole family of Firefox products. → Read More

Dropbox is getting a massive overhaul, wants to be the center of your workflow

Dropbox used to be a simple concept — a folder on your computer that seamlessly syncs with the cloud. But the company’s ambitions are much bigger: it wants to be one of your collaborative tools alongside heavy hitters like Google Docs, Microsoft Office, Slack, Salesforce, Trello, and Zoom. Today it’s unifying those ideas into a single new desktop app that it’s calling "the new Dropbox." → Read More

AMD blows minds with a 16-core 7nm gaming CPU that works like any other Ryzen

AMD is about to release a wave of 3rd gen Ryzen desktop CPUs that — on paper — sound like they might trounce Intel. At AMD’s Next Horizon Gaming Event, AMD just announced the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X processor, and detailed the rest of the Ryzen 3000 lineup that AMD announced at Computex two weeks ago. → Read More

AMD’s Radeon 5700 XT wants to put a dent in the world like the dent in its chassis

I’ve got good news and bad news about AMD’s new graphics cards — the Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT. If you’re an AMD fan hoping that this will be the moment in history when the company finally pulls ahead of Nvidia with a high-end video card — like it may be doing against Intel with desktop CPUs — this isn’t that moment. Despite its new Navi architecture, which offers 1.25x the performance per clock… → Read More

HTC’s Vive Pro Eye VR headset with eye-tracking arrives for $1,599

Virtual reality and eye-tracking seem like an incredible match, and now HTC’s first dedicated stab at an eye-tracking headset has arrived in the US and Canada for $1,599. That’s the word from HTC’s official blog post, following an earlier release for the headset in China and Europe last month. → Read More

Amazon using video of suspected thieves to help promote its doorbell camera brand

Today, Motherboard reports that Amazon’s Ring has published video of a suspected thief in a far more public place than its Neighbors app: a promoted post on Facebook. And apparently, it’s a regular practice for Amazon now. → Read More

Samsung’s curved TVs cost hundreds of dollars less today, plus other deals

If you’re in the market for a giant curved Samsung screen, today is an awfully good day to buy one — seeing how both 65-inch and 55-inch models of Samsung’s 2019 and 2018 7-series 4K screens are currently up to hundreds of dollars off. Plus a well-above-average electric scooter and Nest’s Learning Thermostat E for less money than usual. → Read More

Google’s Stadia game service is officially coming November: Everything you need to know

Today, Google has revealed the key details that were conspicuously missing from its March announcement of the new Stadia game streaming service — namely, what the heck we’re going to be able to play, how much we’ll pay, and when we can actually get started with that service, which beams high-end console and PC games to any Chrome web browser, Chromecast Ultra TV dongle or Pixel 3 smartphone from… → Read More

Apple is back to cheese graters because it’s hard to upgrade a trash can

Weren’t we all perfectly happy making fun of Apple’s trash can — aka the 2013 Mac Pro? Why would Apple abandon a perfectly good dustbin for a cheese grater instead? It turns out that a tiny wastebasket like the 2013 Mac Pro is actually rather difficult to upgrade to newer, more powerful components year after year. → Read More

After outcry, Apple carves out room for rival parental control apps to exist

Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines this week at WWDC 2019 — and many of those changes appear to be aimed squarely at the kinds of controversies that recently led us to ask whether Apple can be trusted with the App Store to begin with. Most prominently, as The New York Times points out, the company appears to be backing away from its stance that screen time and parental control apps… → Read More

The new Mac Pro can add 32TB of storage with this hard-drive-filled MPX Module

We have our first indication that the Mac Pro’s fancy new MPX Modules may not be a totally proprietary solution, in the form of two upcoming storage modules from Promise Technology that will be sold in Apple stores. The new Pegasus R4i is a bona fide MPX Module that adds up to 32TB of storage in a prebuilt RAID 5 array, meaning your data can survive in case one of its four hard drives happens to… → Read More

Apple will force iOS developers to use its new Apple ID sign in option

Apple doesn’t seem to be content just selling its single sign-on as a convenient, pro-privacy option. As iOS developer Ben Sandofsky spotted today, the company has unilaterally decided that every iOS app that offers Google, Facebook, or other third-party sign-in options will need to offer Apple’s sign-in too. → Read More

Remember sharing earbuds with a friend? Apple’s AirPods audio sharing means less earwax

Time was, you’d let your best bud / crush / sibling listen to that awesome new single by handing them an airbud. You’d be joined at the hip! But now, Apple has a slightly more high-tech (and sanitary?) way of sharing music: AirPods Audio Sharing. Tap to hear what your counterpart is listening to. → Read More

Apple wants to save your hearing and track your menstrual cycle with new Apple Watch update

Apple’s big upcoming update for the Apple Watch, WatchOS 6, is going to try to protect your ears — Apple’s going to use the built-in microphone to tell you if ambient noise is too loud, and warn you to take care of your hearing. And that’s just one of several new health features coming to the watching, including menstrual cycle (and fertility) tracking on the Watch itself, and a new Activity… → Read More