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Google’s Pixel 9 Will Reportedly Come In Three Sizes This Fall

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A render of Google’s Pixel 9 smartphone.
Image: OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

Google plans to shake up its smartphone strategy in 2024 by releasing three different models of the upcoming Pixel 9. That’s according to 91mobiles, with the site now claiming that the renders published earlier this year (created by OnLeaks) were in fact of the Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 9 Pro “XL” — and not the regular Pixel 9, which it’s sharing for the first time in new images today.

Google used the XL branding for its bigger Pixels until around 2019, but it went away with the one-size Pixel 5 and stayed gone when the company pivoted to the “Pro” name starting in 2021. Now it sounds like Google will follow more of an iPhone strategy and split the Pro tier into two different sizes, and resurrecting the XL moniker makes sense in that case.

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Science and Tech

Police Arrested Four People Over $300,000 Of Stolen Lego Kits

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A picture of a Porsche 911 Lego set.
Image: California Highway Patrol

Los Angeles citizens can rest easy knowing that a criminal theft ring is no longer stalking the city’s retail stores to feed a Lego black market. That’s because the California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced this week that it had arrested four people it accused of swiping what police estimated was “approximately $300,000” worth of Lego sets.

The four had allegedly burgled stores like Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s of their Lego stock and sold them to black-market dealers who would then vend the stolen bricks at “seemingly legitimate businesses, swap meets, or online.” Police say they were booked on “charges related to Organized Retail Theft, Grand Theft, and Conspiracy to commit a crime.”

Image: California Highway Patrol

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Bluesky Lifted Its Ban On Heads Of State Signups

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An image showing the Bluesky logo on a gradient blue background
Image: Bluesky

Bluesky is apparently ready for a bigger challenge. It says it’s allowing heads of state to sign up now, a little over two months after it opened for general signups. In May last year, the site asked its users not to give invitation codes to “recent/prominent heads of state,” stating that it was its policy not to accommodate them.

When Bluesky instituted its heads-of-state policy, the site was still in its showing-everyone’s-ass phase, and its moderation approach wasn’t in place, yet. So instead of the varying degrees of controlled chaos that social networks are, Bluesky was filled with, well, lots of unsettlingly sexy pictures of the cat-eating alien puppet star of the 1980s sitcom Alf, which The Verge’s Elizabeth Lopatto pointed out…

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This Week’s Trailers Offered Twists On Familiar Genres

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This week saw some fun trailers tapping into heady science fiction, comic book movies, and taboo horror, each with a fun mixed genre twist. Joker: Folie à Deux is a comic book movie about the love affair of The Joker and Harley Quinn that’s also a musical, and Apple TV Plus’ new Dark Matter series is a kidnapping thriller with an interesting alternate reality twist. Then there’s Maxxxine, a horror slasher that looks to also be a whodunit crime mystery.

Joker: Folie à Deux

Joker: Folie à Deux takes a crack at the origin of The Joker and Harley Quinn’s romance, which has been explored in some of the best episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and lightly featured in 2016’s Suicide Squad. This movie is supposed to be a “jukebox musical”…

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