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Almost two months ago, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg did something his fans have wanted for years: he made a Minecraft video, and he’s continued to make them ever since. The result was Kjellberg’s most successful month in years, pulling in more than 570 million views in July and kickstarting a new trend among some of the biggest YouTube creators. For the first time since January 2017, Minecraft has surpassed Fortnite as the most-searched game on YouTube. Minecraft is having a moment again, and it’s reminiscent of one of YouTube’s earliest gaming trends known as the “PewDiePie Effect.” The “PewDiePie Effect” is a term that YouTuber and commentator Matthew “MatPat” Patrick used in a recent video to talk about creators’ influences on the actual market. Back in 2014...

Google has backed down in a spat with the New Zealand government after its email alert system Trends breached a court order suppressing details of a high-profile murder case. According to Reuters and AFP, Google has suspended its Trends feature in the country following outcry from the New Zealand government. Last December, these automated email alerts named the man accused of killing 22-year-old Grace Millane, a British backpacker traveling in the country. Her accused killer was granted temporary name suppression to ensure a fair trial, but Google’s automated Trends alerts put his name in the subject line of an email sent to thousands of users. Google apologized for the error but refused to change how its Trends feature works. An email from the company’s New Zealand government affairs...

Spoiler alert: This article does not address or reveal any plot points from Avengers: Endgame. It's just a recommendation for a specific refresher course. Trust us on this one. Ahead of the release of Avengers: Endgame, anti-spoiler mania has reached a point of frenzy, driven in part by the directors' anti-spoiler statement, a seemingly actively malicious pro-spoiler movement, and an extremely popular social media hashtag urging people not to be dicks about it. The Verge is so on board that our spoiler-free review doesn’t reveal a single plot point from the movie, and neither will this post. We're just here to say that the film, as a whole, ties back into a whole lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe history. It's a phenomenally referential film, and you can expect months to come of "Endgame...

Samsung reportedly may be missing a July ship date for the delayed Galaxy Fold, according to a company official speaking to The Korea Herald, seemingly denying rumors from earlier in June that the company was looking at a July release. “If we are running such a media event this month, we should be doing something by now,” said a Samsung official. “Nothing has progressed since the April delay.” If true, that would put the earliest release date for the Fold sometime in August, at which point Samsung could just hold off the announcement to allow the Fold to launch alongside the upcoming Galaxy Note 10 (assuming the company isn’t worried that the two big-screened phones could cannibalize each other’s sales.) The Galaxy Fold was originally set to release on April 26th, but Samsung...

The US Commerce Department has taken another step toward cutting off Chinese telco Huawei from the overseas companies that make its semiconductors. An amended export rule would block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei to "strategically target Huawei's acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology," the agency announced on Friday. The rule prevents foreign manufacturers of semiconductors who use American software and technology in their operations from shipping their products to Huawei unless they get a license from the US. That license requirement could allow the Commerce Department to block the sale of semiconductors made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) for Huawei's HiSilicon unit, according to The Wall Street Journal....

Earlier this year, screenshots leaked of an experimental Google Play game subscription service called Google Play Pass, which looked to be a direct answer to Apple’s similar Apple Arcade. But it doesn’t seem to be a test anymore — Google has now teased that Play Pass is officially “coming soon.” The teaser, a day before Apple revealed pricing and launch details for Apple Arcade, has zero details — so we’ll have to keep waiting to learn more about when the service is coming, how much it will cost, and which games will be available. But we do have those early leaked screenshots, first reported on by Android Police in July, to suggest that it may cost $4.99 per month — exactly the same price as Apple Arcade — and appears to have a similar model to Apple Arcade in giving...

Apple may be closing in on a deal to buy up Intel’s abandoned smartphone modem business for $1 billion, with The Wall Street Journal reporting today that a deal could be announced as early as next week. Intel announced back in April it was exiting the 5G mobile modem business earlier this year after Apple reached a surprise settlement with Qualcomm that would see Apple once again return to using Qualcomm’s modems in its phones. Intel CEO Bob Swan went on to clarify that Intel had abandoned the modem business directly because of the Apple settlement — without Apple as a customer, the company concluded that it “just didn’t see a path” forward. According to a report from Bloomberg at the time, Apple reportedly decided Intel couldn’t provide a 5G modem the iPhone in a timeframe...