Here's where things stand with marijuana after the midterms

Cannabis is now legal in Michigan. It is the first state in the midwest to allow for the recreational use of marijuana.

Other states that saw changes to cannabis laws include Utah and Missouri, both of which legalized medical use. North Dakota voters rejected legalizing it recreationally, however.  

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Jeff Sessions got fired, and the jokes are too good

Image: AFP/Getty Images

Jeff Sessions was fired, and Twitter users can’t hold back on the memes. 

In a pair of tweets on Wednesday, Trump announced that Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ former chief of staff, is stepping in as acting Attorney General. 

“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well,” Trump tweeted. “A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.” 

But in an undated resignation letter, Sessions writes to the president, “at your request, I am submitting my resignation.” 

Many poked fun at Sessions’ uncanny resemblance to a the least jolly elf imaginable.

Some couldn’t help but bring up his reputation of making racist remarks.

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the resignation letter’s wording.

It’s almost reassuring to know that no matter how turbulent American politics are, Twitter and its memes will always be here.

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World's Best Boss Steve Carell to host 'Saturday Night Live'

Image: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock

Steve Carell will host Saturday Night Live for the third time on Nov. 17 with musical guest Ella Mai. 

Carell is currently promoting Beautiful Boy and leaning into his silver fox phase, while Mai is fresh off her self-titled studio album debut in October. 

Besides Beautiful Boy, Carell will also appear in December’s Vice, about Dick Cheney. He’ll portray Donald Rumsfeld. 

Watch Carell and Mai on SNL Nov. 17. There will be plenty of politics to discuss. 

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Samsung's folding Galaxy phone reveal was a giant disappointment

Update 7:40 p.m.: Samsung provided a few more details about the display in a session following the keynote.

After more than an hour of tiring Bixby announcements, cursory Galaxy Home details, and long-winded IOT speeches during the opening keynote to its developers conference, Samsung finally showed us what we were all waiting for: its new folding phone.

Except it wasn’t really a phone at all. Samsung’s big innovation is the Infinity Flex display, and we still don’t know much about what Samsung is going to do with it. Senior vice president Justin Denison waxed poetic about an advanced composite polymer and reduced thickness that paves the way for rollable displays, foldable phones, and thinner handsets. Except he didn’t actually show us any of that.

samsung folding phone holding Samsung

If youu blinked while Senior Vice President Justin Denison showed off Samsung’s new folding phone you would’ve missed it.

The brief glimpse we got of the phone revealed a super thick handset with giant bezels and an obvious hinge. Presumably we were looking at a dummy case that concealed the real product. At least I hope we were. Because if not, it’s going to be the phone that launched a thousand memes.

We don’t even really know how or if it works. The 10-second glimpse we got of it didn’t show off any functionality, and Denison made sure to keep the UI and design under wraps. Samsung even dimmed the lights on the stage so people couldn’t get a real clear look at it.

More questions than answers

So what do we know? Not a whole lot. Samsung boasted that the Infinity Flex display represents “a new mobile platform,” but the only thing we know for sure is that you can run three apps on it thanks to a new feature called multi-active window. Based on the demo, the three windows are interchangeable, with one large box flanked by two stackable smaller boxes.

samsung folding phone multi apps Samsung

You can run three apps when the folding screen is opened.

We also officially know that Google is on board. In a rare appearance by the Android maker at a Samsung event, Google announced that it will be officially supporting foldable displays, allowing Android apps to run seamlessly as the device folds and bringing “screen continuity.” That’s developer speak for the API that lets apps dynamically adjust to the various Android display sizes, but it’s usually not seen in action on the fly. So it will definitely require a new set of tools.

But we don’t really know how that works either. Presumably, if you’re working in an app with the phone open, it will remember you place when you close it and vice versa. But Samsung didn’t demonstrate that either. Based on the peek we got of the phone, however, it seems as though it will fold inward like a book. That means there’s a smaller display on the outside of the phone and a larger one on the inside, though Samsung says the Infinity Flex tech will allow for both inward and outward phones.

In the fold

As far as the UI of the new phone goes, it will be related to Samsung’s new design language, OneUI. Before showing off the new phone, Samsung took a few minutes to show off its new smartphone interface, the third rebranding in as many years, following TouchWiz and the Samsung Experience. OneUI is a dramatic change for Samsung’s Galaxy phones with a cleaner interface that pushes the controls toward the bottom of the screen and creates a “content area” at the top of the screen.

samsung folding phone closing Samsung

Samsung’s folding phone concept isn’t exactly thin.

For example, in the Messages app, your conversations will start in the middle of the screen so you don’t have to reach as high to respond to a new text. And pop-ups will also be pushed to the bottom of the screen for easier access with one hand.

OneUI will also include a system-wide dark mode as well as a new color scheme to match the color of the device. Samsung says it designed OneUI to keep your focus on the task at hand and minimize distractions on the screen. It’s not entirely clear how any of OneUI will relate to the new folding phone, but presumably the new interface was designed with the flexible display in mind.

Close to the vest

Back to what we don’t know. Among the questions we still have about Samsung’s folding phone:

  • When it is coming out: Samsung said it’s ready to begin manufacturing Infinity Flex displays “in the coming months,” but it didn’t say whether they would be attached to phones.
  • How big it is: Samsung didn’t discuss the size of either the inside display or the outside one, though it certainly looked like a small tablet when opened. 
  • If it will run regular Android apps: Samsung talked in broad strokes about the foldable UI, but we don’t really know how it will work with the millions of existing apps in the Play Store.
  • If it will work in either orientation: Samsung showed a portrait-heavy UI, but it didn’t mention whether the phone has an accelerometer so it can be turned like a tablet.
  • How much it costs: There was no mention of price during the discussion of the phone.
  • What it will be called: Rumors suggested that the new phone would be called the Galaxy F, but Samsung declined to name the device it showed off.

And there are a bunch of other questions too. What’s the battery life? What’s the screen resolution? How much RAM is inside it? What’s storage options? Can you answer calls when it’s opened? Is there a headphone jack? And on and on.

samsung folding phone closed Samsung

Samsung’s new folding phone looks like a 2001 phone when closed.

The only real specs about the display were revealed at a developers session after the keynote. As reported by CNET, the front display is 4.58 inches—incredibly small for a 2018 phone—with a resolution of 1960×840 and a pixel density of 420. The inside display is a great deal bigger than any smartphone on the market today, measuring 7.3 inches with a 2152×1536 resolution and the same 420ppi. The closed display would have a funky 21:9 ratio, while the inside is a more standard 4.2:3.

But even with a clearer picture of the size, all Samsung really proved at its developers conference was that the thing it’s been working on for the past four years is actually a thing that’s going to come out next year.

But whether that’s actually going to become a phone you’re going to want to buy remains to be seen.

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Windows 10 blocks pesky notifications with improved Focus Assist feature in Build 18277

Fed up with any and all notifications, but don’t want to fiddle with them? Microsoft’s Windows 10 Build 18277, released Wednesday, turns on Focus Assist when launching full-screen apps, together with a few other tweaks.

Build 18277 is part of the 19H1 release, which will eventually become the Windows 10 update due in the first half of 2019. Though the build doesn’t contain any new features, Microsoft has made some tweaks to various features within Windows, including Focus Assist. You can also sample the new Emoji 12 emoji.

Windows 10 19H1 focus assist Microsoft

Here’s the Windows 10 setting to give Focus Assist more control.

You may not even know Focus Assist exists. You’ll find it within the Notification tiles within the Action Center—the icon way down in the bottom right-hand corner of your display. Focus Assist works by turning off the slide-in notifications you may receive about new emails and calendar appointments, allowing you to be free from distractions and focus. Microsoft has been busy tweaking Focus Assist to turn on in certain situations, most recently while playing a full-screen game. Now, Focus Assist’s role has expanded: any full-screen app, such as a movie, will automatically turn on Focus Assist.

emoji 12 Microsoft

Build 18277 allows you to use the new Emoji 12 emoji, including these that Microsoft designed.

The Windows Action Center received a bit of tweaking, too. The screen brightness toggle – one of the Action Center buttons—has been changed from a series of buttons toggling through various brightness levels, and replaced with a slider. You can also add or reorganize the various Action Center tiles.

Windows 10 19H1 brightness slider Microsoft

Adjusting screen brightness with a slider makes a lot more sense.

Another minor change, though a welcome one, is Microsoft’s removal of its “blurry apps” popup. If you’ve ever plugged in a 1080p monitor to a high-res Surface display, for example, you’ve probably received a popup that asks to allow Windows to fix scaling for apps, to eliminate blurry fonts. Microsoft now just does it automatically, thank goodness.

Windows 10 19H1 blurry apps Microsoft

This popup was so annoying.

Finally, Microsoft added a capability to Windows Device Application Guard, its secure browser within Windows. Enterprise users will be able to toggle the camera and mic off and on, Microsoft said. The company is also soliciting feedback on the interaction of Alexa and Cortana via a short survey, a day after Cortana chief Javier Soltero said he would be leaving the company

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