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Culture

Elon Musk’s Boring Company scales down its East Coast ambitions

This week, Elon Musk’s tunnel-digging venture released a massive, 505-page report on its proposal to link Washington, DC and Baltimore via a high-speed transit system. It was a small but necessary step toward realizing Musk’s dream of an East Coast hyperloop, which he teased in a tweet almost two years ago.

So far, most of what we know about the Boring Company’s plans come from events staged by the company or Musk’s whimsical tweets tracking its progress. In contrast, this document, titled “Washington, DC, to Baltimore Loop Project Proposed by the Boring Company,” lays out in painstaking detail what Musk and his company would actually need to do to complete the high-speed, underground transit system. It’s a sober look at the challenges…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507839/elon-musk-boring-company-dc-baltimore-hyperloop-report

Culture

Fortnite players are pushing a floating alien rune across the island

Fortnite appears to be gearing up for its next in-game event, and it may not surprise longtime fans to know that this one is again focused on Loot Lake. As we’ve seen in the past few updates, the Loot Lake area of the map has been transformed from its archipelago-style design, which occurred after the trippy butterfly event back in November that transformed the map mid-game, to an excavation site. In the middle now lies a giant metal hatch of sorts, perhaps a door to the mysterious purple cube that tumbled into Loot Lake last fall.

We don’t know too much about what Epic Games is planning here, but there now exists a floating, alien-seeming platform outside Fatal Fields that contains a glowing rune, matching the runes that have appeared…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507921/fortnite-in-game-event-alien-runes-loot-lake-hatch-door

Culture

A ransomware attack took The Weather Channel off the air

The Weather Channel was hit by a ransomware attack on Thursday, briefly taking a live TV program off the air, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The attack came amid severe weather in the southeastern United States and knocked out the cable channel for more than an hour. The FBI told the Journal a ransomware attack was the source of the problem and that the agency is investigating.

“We experienced issues with this morning’s live broadcast following a malicious software attack on the network,” the channel confirmed in a tweet about the incident, adding that “backup mechanisms” had allowed the channel to restore service. “We apologize for any inconvenience to viewers as we work to resolve the matter,” the tweet said.

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507869/weather-channel-ransomware-attack-tv-program-cable-off-the-air

Culture

Marijuana legalization looks promising, but plenty of questions remain

This year, April 20th feels different. Marijuana enthusiasts have long celebrated 4/20, but now that businesses are seeing profit potential, they are getting involved, too, with things like $4.20 Lyft credits and CBD-infused Carl’s Jr. hamburgers. Marijuana is a big business, even if it’s not legal everywhere yet. So what’s the current state of marijuana legalization?

In a nutshell, things look promising. From a public opinion standpoint, marijuana legalization has become very popular. As Vox’s German Lopez has noted, three major national polls highlight just how quickly support is growing. All three show that more than 60 percent of Americans support legalization. According to Gallup, for example, 66 percent of Americans supported…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507811/marijuana-legalization-drugs-federal-policy-enforcement

Culture

The latest lost satellite is now space junk that could put other spacecraft at risk

<em>An artistic rendering of Intelsat 29e in orbit</em>

On Thursday, satellite service provider Intelsat announced that one of its communications satellites is now completely lost in orbit above Earth, rendering the vehicle an unmovable piece of space debris. Intelsat says that something damaged the satellite, causing its onboard propellant to leak out into space. Now, without the ability to maneuver and communicate, the satellite could pose a potential threat to other vehicles in the same orbit.

For Intelsat, the most obvious consequence of the loss is a financial one. Built by Boeing, the satellite, called Intelsat 29e, cost between $400 and $450 million and was supposed to operate up to 15 years in space. But now its lifetime has been cut short after just three years in orbit, preventing…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507439/intelsat-29e-geostationary-orbit-satellite-failure-space-debris

Culture

China unveils the first autonomous amphibious military landing vehicle

Earlier this month, a Chinese shipbuilder unveiled an amphibious autonomous landing vehicle that could someday be part of the country’s military. Nicknamed the “Marine Lizard,” it can be used for assaulting beaches from the ocean in concert with other autonomous vehicles.

The state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Company says that the prototype of the landing craft has been successfully tested and delivered, and it’s the first such vehicle in the world. The vehicle is 12 meters long, and it has a top speed of 50 knots in the water and 20 kilometers per hour on land, according to China’s Global Times. Amphibious landers have long been used in warfare, operating first as a boat before crawling on land. This particular vehicle has three…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507541/chinese-military-marine-lizard-amphibious-autonomous-marine-landing-vehicle

Culture

Sony’s excellent 1000X M3 headphones are $50 off at Massdrop

Sony’s 1000X M3 wireless noise-canceling headphones are currently the best that you can buy. This model has better sound quality than most other over-ear headphones as well as a more isolating noise-canceling effect than its closest competitor, Bose’s QC35 II.

The 1000X M3s are usually $349.99, and, according to my colleague Vlad Savov’s review (and my own personal experience), they’re worth every penny. For the next few days, they’re $50 off at Massdrop. That brings them down to $299, which is a great price on headphones that rarely see a discount.

This price drop is in effect for both the black and silver headphones, and since they’re new, they come with a one-year warranty from Sony that covers manufacturer defects.

There are a lot…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/4/19/18507617/sony-1000x-m3-headphones-massdrop-discount-deal-sale

Culture

Apple reportedly bringing Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and other iOS features to the Mac

As we near Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where the company will unveil its next major versions of iOS, macOS, and other software updates, 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo is getting the jump on some of those announcements. Today, he’s reporting that Apple plans to bring the Siri Shortcuts feature (and likely the Shortcuts app itself) to the Mac with macOS 10.15. Shortcuts allow users to create custom Siri voice commands that trigger actions within a particular app. These actions can be chained together — each Shortcut can include multiple apps — which has quickly made the feature a favorite tool for power users.

Now, Apple will apparently bring those same capabilities to the Mac. 9to5Mac notes that Shortcuts would only work…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507748/screen-time-siri-shortcuts-coming-to-mac-rumor

Culture

This weekend, watch Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey fight Terminators

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

The 2008 pilot episode of the Fox TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. A direct sequel to the 1991 blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the series begins in 1999, with single mother Sarah Connor (Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones) having sacrificed any semblance of a normal life in the years since she…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507759/game-of-thrones-got-season-8-hbo-final-lena-headey-david-nutter-sarah-connor-chronicles

Culture

How designer Niko Nice’s Serbian roots helped build his collaborative workspace

Art director Nikola “Niko Nice” Crnobrnja has worked on some amazing projects over the years, from directing a music video for Jazz Cartier to designing album packaging for Juicy J to art directing the crash test dummy-inspired branding for A$AP Rocky’s Testing. His latest project, a co-working / agency hybrid, has him swapping out his pens and sketchbooks for hammers and hard hats.

After emigrating from Dalmatia (a region in Croatia) to Canada when he was just five years old, Niko Nice has kept his families roots close to him. Inspired by how people live and work together in Serbian culture, Niko began building Moonbase, an agency / co-working hybrid with the goal of finding talent and fostering a culture of collaboration. After…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18485057/niko-nice-crnobrnja-designer-art-director-album-collaborative-workspace-art-club

Culture

Heaven’s Vault is a sci-fi adventure about uncovering ancient alien cultures

One of the biggest challenges I came up against in Heaven’s Vault was figuring out which little squiggle meant “and.” It’s an important word. As I sat around a dusty moon, trying to piece together fragments of a long-forgotten alien language, that one little word was what I needed to link things together. Once I finally figured out, it was a “Eureka!” moment. So much of what I had been struggling with suddenly fell into place.

There are plenty of games that purport to be about archaeology and exploring ancient cultures. Most times, though, it’s little more than a backdrop for an action game, whether it’s Nathan Drake stealing treasure in Uncharted or Lara Croft raiding tombs. Heaven’s Vault is different. It stars an archaeologist who…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18507503/heavens-vault-review-ps4-pc

Culture

How designer NikoNice’s Serbian roots helped build his collaborative workspace

Art director Nikola “NikoNice” Crnobrnja has worked on some amazing projects over the years, from directing a music video for Jazz Cartier to designing album packaging for Juicy J to art directing the crash test dummy-inspired branding for A$AP Rocky’s Testing. His latest project, a co-working / agency hybrid, has him swapping out his pens and sketchbooks for hammers and hard hats.

After emigrating from Dalmatia (a region in Croatia) to Canada when he was just five years old, NikoNice has kept his families roots close to him. Inspired by how people live and work together in Serbian culture, Niko began building Moonbase, an agency / co-working hybrid with the goal of finding talent and fostering a culture of collaboration. After managing…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18485057/nikonice-crnobrnja-designer-art-director-album-collaborative-workspace-art-club

Culture

Under Chinese censorship, Game of Thrones becomes a mundane ‘medieval documentary’

Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1, “Winterfell.”

Strip Game of Thrones of the sex, violence, and supernatural horror, and what’s left? Chinese fans of the show are finding out, as they’re watching a version of the series that’s been censored by the government. Many say the censored version of Game of Thrones they have ready access to is more like a mundane “medieval documentary” with disjointed plot points.

HBO’s Chinese partner, Tencent, has the rights to distribute Game of Thrones in China, but to respect local laws, it cut nearly six minutes of the season 8 premiere, “Winterfell.” Most of what was cut was pretty standard, including the nudity when Bronn spends time with three women before Qyburn summons him and…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/19/18411054/game-of-thrones-got-season-8-hbo-final-chinese-censorship-scenes-cut-ned-umber-pirating

Culture

Amazon’s Echo Dot is on sale, or it’s free with select Ring smart home tech purchases

Amazon’s third-generation Echo Dot is at the center of several deals that are worth checking out today. If you only want the smart speaker, it’s cheaper than usual, especially if you buy it in a multipack. You can also get it for free with the purchase of select smart home products from Ring and Sengled.

The Amazon Echo Dot is $39.99 (usually $49.99), but notably, you can also purchase three for $69.99. Just add three to your cart (in any of the colors offered), and the discount will be reflected at checkout.

We’ve previously mentioned the special on Ring products, but it’s worth bringing up again if you want to add a smart doorbell or lights to your smart home setup. Several Ring smart home products are $30 off, and a third-generation…

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from The Verge – All Posts https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2019/4/19/18507542/amazon-echo-dot-ring-sengled-smart-home-tech-free-deal-discount