Second Life joins the metaverse discussion with the return of its founder — and some key patents

A recruiter works on a computer, 19 June 2007 at the cyber cafe “Le Milk” in Paris, during the Neo Job-Meeting (NJM) event, the first virtual job fair on the 3-D “Second Life” on-line game.  | Photo credit should read STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images Throughout months of metaverse hype, with all the new names and virtual real estate speculation, I can’t count how many times I’ve thought, “Didn’t Second Life already do that?” Apparently, the people behind Second Life agree and are trying to pull our attention back…

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The real beauty of Wordle is how its emoji results tell a story

Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images Did you struggle with Wordle today? I sure as hell did, racking up my second ever failure since I started playing the game at the beginning of the year. I was annoyed at myself more than the puzzle and eased that frustration by sharing my results on Twitter. As I did, I realized why the game’s auto-generated grids of emoji are so brilliant. It’s not just that they’re social (though that certainly helps), nor is it that they’re intriguing (there’s no link to the game…

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The App Store clones are here to profit off Wordle’s success

Copies of the popular web app have made it past App Review. Wordle, the word-guessing puzzle game that’s taken over our Twitter timelines, doesn’t currently have an official app. That may come as a surprise to anyone who’s searched for it on the App Store, though — doing so will show you several blatant unofficial copies, which use the same name and mechanics as the original, which was made by Josh Wardle. Most people who’ve been online recently will have had at least some exposure to Wordle if they haven’t…

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Done your Wordle for the day? Try out these spoofs instead

The stupidest (and hence best) Wordle spoof we’ve seen: Letterle. | Image: @edjeff Part of the charm of Wordle — this season’s must-play puzzle game — is that you can only do it once a day. But that’s also part of the frustration, too. For while it is wonderful to think to yourself: “Ah, a coffee break. Time to sit down and do my Wordle” (part and parcel of the indulgent “treat brain” we all seem to have developed during the pandemic), you sometimes want to scratch that puzzle itch…

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Obscenely detailed scan lets you peer at Rembrandt’s Night Watch masterpiece online

The level of detail is staggering. | Image: Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum has released what it claims is the “largest and most detailed photograph of any artwork,” and it’s viewable for free on its website. The scan is of Rembrandt van Rijn’s 1642 masterpiece The Night Watch, a roughly 12 by 14 foot painting which is currently the focus of a massive research and restoration project called “Operation Night Watch.” The technical details of the scan are staggering. In a press release, the Rijksmuseum explains that it’s made up of 8,439…

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Today I learned about the Shazam Chrome extension

Shazam is available in yet another place. | Image: Shazam Today I learned about Shazam’s Chrome extension, which seems to have been out for about a month and can help you identify music playing on the webpage you’re viewing. Having the app directly in Chrome could help you figure out what song is playing in an ad, trailer, or livestream without having to mess around with your phone. (Thanks to 9to5Google for finding and pointing out this nifty tool.) The extension does everything I’d expect it to — you go…

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How Signal is playing with fire

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Today, let’s talk about a little-discussed story that I worry could someday have big implications: the encrypted messaging app Signal’s introduction of anonymous cryptocurrency payments, and the opportunity it could create for regulators around the world who have been looking for an excuse to eliminate end-to-end encryption altogether. A year ago, Platformer was the first to report that Signal was considering adding cryptocurrency payments to the platform, and it started with MobileCoin. Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike has served as an adviser…

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Google’s Stephen Hawking Doodle includes narration in the physicist’s voice

Image: Google This weekend, Google will release a Doodle celebrating what would have been Stephen Hawking’s 80th birthday. The two and a half minute-long video will go live in the US at midnight ET tonight (9pm PT) and includes a narration in the physicist’s own computer-generated voice (created and used with permission from his estate) outlining his work and painting a message of hope for the future. Hawking’s digital voice was one of the most recognizable characteristics of the late physicist, who used it to speak after losing his voice…

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Amazon’s AWS logs third outage this month, affecting Slack, Epic Games Store, Asana and more

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Amazon’s crucial web services business AWS is experiencing problems today, with issues affecting services like Slack, Imgur, and the Epic Games store for some users. It’s not looking good if you’re working from home, with some Slack users apparently unable to view or upload images, and work management tool Asana also hit by the outages. It’s the third time in as many weeks that problems with AWS have had a significant effect on online services. Two incidents earlier this month involving AWS ended…

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