Bethesda wants to charge Fallout 76 players $13 a month for premium features

Fallout 76 Image: Bethesda

Bethesda is taking a rather unique approach to adding new in-game content for its multiplayer survival shooter Fallout 76. Instead of adding it in for free or making it part of a paid expansion, the developer is now selling a $12.99 monthly subscription it’s calling Fallout 1st, which will grant access to premium features. In particular, the membership — Bethesda is calling it a membership and not a subscription — “offers something players have been asking for since before launch: private worlds for you and select friends.”

You’ll get some other perks, too. There’s a “scrapbox” storage container for holding unlimited materials, a monthly deposit of in-game Atoms currency for you to spend, exclusive outfits and other cosmetics, and a new…

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The Current War is basically Amadeus for electricity

Photo: Dean Rogers / 101 Studios

It’s unusual for a film to arrive in theaters labeled “Director’s Cut,” but it’s happening with The Current War, a historical film about the tech face-off between irascible inventor Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and genteel industrialist George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon). The film’s themes are integrity, the damaging effects of powerful men, and the importance of savvy branding — and those same themes have played out in the film’s release just as much as they’ve turned up on-screen.

The “Director’s Cut” label ensures that even the most casual filmgoers will have a sense that something strange is at play with The Current War. The drama about the early days of electricity is hitting theaters more than two years after it…

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Hey Robot is a party game that tests how smart Alexa is

Photo: Everybody House Games

Sometimes, it can feel impossible to get what you want from a smart assistant. That problem is the premise of a new board game called Hey Robot, which tasks players with getting Alexa or another digital assistant to say a specific word before their opponents can.

The gameplay works much like Taboo: players are given a selection of words, and they have to figure out what they can ask a smart assistant that will get it to recite the word without saying any form of the word in their question.

“The game works because the devices don’t work that great,” says Frank Lantz, one of the game’s creators. “It’s very funny. You think, ‘Oh this is going to be easy. How hard can this be?’ But that’s the thing. It actually can be very challenging, and…

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Watch Mark Zuckerberg’s Libra congressional testimony here

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On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will answer questions from Congress about the company’s latest venture into blockchain and cryptocurrency, Libra.

The hearing comes after months of heated debates from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are concerned about whether Facebook should create its own global currency. The head of the Libra Project, David Marcus, made the case for Libra in front of Congress earlier this year, but it wasn’t enough for lawmakers. Now, Zuckerberg will sit in front of members of the House Financial Services Committee in an attempt to quell their concerns about the project.

The hearing is being streamed on the House Financial Services Committee’s YouTube channel and C-SPAN.

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How would opening up Facebook change the internet?

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On October 22nd, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest critics introduced a bill that’s meant to undercut social media monopolies. The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act is designed to make “large communications platforms” loosen their hold on user data. It builds on regulations that have already been implemented in Europe, and it speaks to serious concerns about online walled gardens.

But the ACCESS Act doesn’t lay out precisely how these rules might change our relationship with companies like Twitter and Facebook. Some of its details are still up in the air. But based on what we know, here’s why the bill matters and why it’s not a surefire solution for opening up the internet.

What does the…

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Axon, formerly Taser, plans to put automatic license plate readers on police dashboards

Moscow public transport infrastructure Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, is entering another controversial surveillance business: the automatic license plate reader industry.

In a report released by its ethics board today, the company said it planned to enter the market and make the tech, called ALPR, available on a “future version” of dashboard cameras already used in police vehicles. Axon provides dashcams under a brand of products called Axon Fleet, and the company told the board that the next generation of its cameras will include the readers.

The cameras will be able to process video of license plates through a laptop in an officer’s car. While some police departments already use readers mounted to their cars, Axon…

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: “capitalism as we know it as dead”

Salesforce Founder & Co-CEO Marc Benioff making a television appearance this month Salesforce Founder & Co-CEO Marc Benioff making a television appearance this month | Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The first billionaire I ever interviewed was Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce. It was the summer of 2011, and I was working on a profile of his surging interest in philanthropy, which had vaulted him into the uppermost ranks of the city’s donors. Benioff declined to talk to me at first, but eventually he relented, and he had me over to his very nice house in San Francisco to talk about his journey from workaholic salesman at Oracle to public company CEO.

One thing I took away from the conversation was that Benioff, much more than the other CEOs I had spoken with up to that point, framed every discussion in terms of values. It was why, he said, he had set aside 1 percent of his company’s shares to fund a philanthropic foundation,…

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Huawei’s folding Mate X ships next month for $2,400

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Huawei’s muchdelayed folding phone, the Mate X, is finally going on sale next month. The company announced the news at a launch event today attended and reported on by Sina Digital.

The Mate X is a 5G phone with Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor and Barong 5000 modem, and it has a dual-cell 4,500mAh battery that can reportedly be filled to 85 percent in half an hour with 55W fast charging. When unfolded, the screen is 8 inches diagonal, and when it’s closed it’s like having a phone with a 6.6-inch screen on the front and a 6.38-inch panel on the back.

Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which opens up like a book, the Mate X’s screen wraps around the outside of the clamshell device. This should make it more usable as a conventional phone than the…

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