After Math: Eat your heart out, Soundgarden


ESO

From the first direct images of a black hole and a nearly-successful private moon landing to self-healing exosuits and self-retrieving rockets, read on for the top stories from what’s been a stellar week for space science!

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Self-healing space suits among 18 ideas to receive NASA funding

If the recent cancellation of what would have been the first all-women space walk showed us anything, it’s that we desperately need spacesuits designed for (and in) the 21st century. NASA agrees and announced this week that it is awarding funding to universities to help develop the critical technologies we’ll need to explore the moon and beyond.

Planet Hunter

SpaceX will assist NASA’s first-ever mission to redirect an asteroid

Since we can’t very well expect Bruce Willis and his crack team of oil drillers to jet off into space every time we have a planet-killing asteroid coming this way, NASA is working on more effective ways of nudging incoming space debris out of our orbital path. And SpaceX plans to give them a hand come 2021.

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This is the first real picture of a black hole

Move along, nothing to see here, just the first real photograph of a black hole — something that no human in the history of the universe had ever seen before this week.

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Virgin Orbit will launch satellites from Guam

It’s not quite the headline grabber as its Galactic counterpart but Virgin Orbit performs a vital service. Specifically, the company uses a modified 747 to air launch satellites into space. And what better place to do that than Guam, which sits extremely close to the equator?

Israel Lunar Mission

Privately-owned Moon lander crashes in historic attempt

The phrase “so close and yet so far” not one you’re going to want to say to the SpaceIL team in the any time soon. They had the world’s first privately-owned lunar landing practically in the bag but just couldn’t stick the landing. Now they’re out of a $100 million spacecraft.

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Falcon Heavy successfully completes triple-booster landing

Elon Musk may not know how to be a responsible adult on the internet but hot damn can his company land some rockets. This week the most recent Falcon Heavy launch saw the dual side boosters and central core all come to rest on their designated floating platforms. That’s three for three!

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Starship’s robo-couriers have completed 50,000 deliveries

Starship’s delivery robots won’t be making it to orbit in the foreseeable future but given how quickly the company is expanding its service, one might pop up at your front door before you know it. And that’s how their revolution begins.

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After Math: It's big ball chunky time

Baseball season is the best season, regardless of what summer tells you. So take a cue from the MLB’s Korea marketing team, grab your glove and get ready for 162 games, that’s 486 hours, of Great American Pastime. Of course, not everybody is into sportsball — and that’s fine — we’ve got plenty of news of companies playing games of their own too.

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Sling TV adds MLB Network just in time for Opening Day

Cord-cutters can finally come in from the cold thanks to Sling TV. The cableless programming provider announced on Thursday that it will carry a pair of dedicated MLB channels for the 2019 season. You may not get to watch your local clubs at will on them, but that’s what YouTube TV and a VPN are for.

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Spotify is testing a cheaper Premium subscription for two people

Reward your Player 2 buy giving them their own access to your Spotify account. The company announced this week that, in order to combat rampant password sharing, it is exploring a new premium tier which would give a pair of people shared access to a single account.

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Lyft hopes free banking and cheap repairs will lure drivers away from Uber

Lyft isn’t wasting any time, now that it’s beaten rival Uber to IPO, attempting to convince drivers to switch teams. Lyft is offering a host of perks like no-fee banking, cash back on purchases and half-off vehicle repair. In New York, they’re even paying drivers minimum wage (but only because the courts made them).

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FTC shuts down four major robocall operations

The Federal Trade Commission was not messing around this week, putting its boot on the necks of four robocall companies that had repeatedly gamed the system. Just those four companies were responsible for billions of scam calls a month and are now responsible for millions in fines.

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Twitch is letting streamers broadcast together in the same window

Games are nearly always better with a friend and we’re about to find out if the same holds true for Twitch streams. The company tested out a new feature this week which allows a pair of streamers to broadcast in splitscreen.

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GameStop gets into esports with ‘Performance Center’ in Texas

Before you ask, yes GameStop is still somehow in business, and yes it’s also pivoting to eSports. The company held a grand opening for its 11,000 square foot headquarters cum battle arena in Frisco, Texas. The GameStop Performance Center will actually share space with the Dallas Cowboys’ eSports operations.

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Sony has sold 4.2 million PlayStation VR headsets

And if you can’t make it out to the yard, you can always jack into it instead. With a PSVR (of which many have sold), the MLB TV app and At Bat VR, you can keep up with your team without ever leaving the couch or even seeing your roommates.

Andrew has lived in San Francisco since 1982 and has been writing clever things about technology since 2011. When not arguing the finer points of portable vaporizers and military defense systems with strangers on the internet, he enjoys tooling around his garden, knitting and binge watching anime.

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After Math: To all the games we loved before


Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Now that GDC 2019 has wrapped, it’s time to take a quick look back at all the week’s gaming news you might have missed.

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‘Sea of Thieves’ anniversary update will let you catch and cook fish

Man, can you land lubbers believe it’s already been a whole year since Rare took to the high seas? To celebrate, the studio announced this week that it will release an anniversary update at the end of April with an armada of fun new features.

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Epic Games has 250 million ‘Fortnite’ players and a lot of plans

Despite increasingly strident competition from Apex Legends, Fortnite remains the pinnacle of battle royale gaming. But just because Fortnite is currently king of the hill with a quarter billion registered players, that doesn’t mean Epic has any intention of slowing down. The studio announced this week the upcoming launch of a new game store and hyper-realistic physics engine that will make future games even more destructive.

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BioWare promises to fix ‘Anthem’ after dismal launch

The first few weeks following Anthem’s launch have not been easy for BioWare, with countless bugs and glitches crashing (and occasionally bricking) consoles. The company has already pushed more than 200 fixes through various patches and, according to a blog post from general manager Casey Hudson, the company isn’t done tinkering with the gameplay.

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The FDA thinks an Xbox game can stop kids smoking

[Narrator]: The FDA was wrong.

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Atari VCS gets a spec boost and another delay

Everybody’s favorite vaporware is back in the news this week. The Atari VCS retrobox is reportedly receiving a beefier CPU and improved graphics. Unfortunately, those improvements also mean that we’re not likely to see if before the end of the year, if at all.

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‘Apex Legends’ has banned 500,000 accounts for cheating

Seriously, can someone explain to me the draw of cheating in online games? Like, where’s the pride in seeing your handle on the leaderboards knowing that you didn’t actually land there with your skills? Either way, half a million folks won’t be pulling stunts like that on Apex Legends anymore.

Catch up on all the latest news from GDC 2019 here!

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After Math: Now let's just wait a Momo


Engadget

The only thing more popular on the internet than racism is a good hoax. The more batshit, the better. Every wacky conspiracy imaginable, from vaccines causing autism to the world being flat, can be found on the interwebs. But even more popular are the near-mythical hoaxes which have convinced folks that the Slender Man is real and Momo (pictured below) is anything other than a well-photoshopped screencap. And while the following news is in no way fake, it will give you pause — if even for a Momo.

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YouTube is removing ads from all Momo-related videos

If internet hoaxsters thought they’d be making a mint off of the latest fraudulent challenge, in this case, the Momo Challenge, they are going to be disappointed. YouTube announced this week that it is demonetizing videos featuring the character — including those from reputable sources like local news stations — to help neuter the movement before it gets someone hurt or incarcerated for once.

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Tesla launches orders for the $35,000 Model 3

Elon Musk took a moment away from getting himself in trouble with the SEC (again) to announce that Tesla’s flagship EV, the Model 3, is now the same price as a Chevy Volt, Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV. You’re still going to want to go with the Kona, though.

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RIAA reports music streaming pulled in $7.4 billion last year

Remember how, just a few years ago, the music industry was utterly convinced that its end was nigh; that villainous streaming services were coming to finish off what file-sharing in the early 2000s started? Surprise, the industry got it wrong — again, just like it did with the advent of terrestrial radio and television — and is now practically printing money as streaming services now account for 75 percent of revenue.

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Xfinity Mobile PINs were left as ‘0000’ by default

0000? That’s the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!

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Twitch is running a $20,000 karaoke contest

See, it’s just like American Idol except it’s completely online and the stakes are much lower.

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Dow Jones’ list of risky businesses was left on a public server

For this week’s installment of “major data breaches that could have been prevented if the doofuses in IT had just bothered to set a password” we present a 2.4 million-entry database of entities that the Dow Jones considers “risky businesses” which was left on an unsecured server by a third-party company.

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After Math: Mobile World Mayhem


Engadget

Mobile World Congress is kicking off this weekend in Barcelona, Spain and Engadget’s crack team of reporters will be coming to you live from the show floor! But the trade show isn’t the only thing making mobile news this week: Chevy’s finally adding a “Find my Car” feature to its app, Intel’s pumping the brakes on rumors of its 5G modem availability, and Facebook is (unsurprisingly) once again in trouble for scraping sensitive data from its mobile users. In less disturbing news, BMW and Daimler are looking to invest a billion dollars into a different sort of “mobile” project.

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Nike’s self-lacing Adapt BB shoes aren’t playing well with Android phones

For $350 a pair, you’d think that Nike would have ensured that their self-lacing smart sneakers would work both of the major mobile operating systems. But nope.

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Multiple iOS apps are reportedly sharing sensitive data with Facebook

Facebook got caught this week siphoning deeply personal data — from your weight to your menstrual cycle — from nearly a dozen mobile apps without any warning to users that it was actually doing so. Seriously, why is anyone surprised at this point? How long before we’re back here again?

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BMW and Daimler invest $1 billion in their joint mobility services

Following the lead of popular bike and scooter sharing schemes, BMW and Daimler announced this week that the two companies will invest roughly a billion dollars in their joint mobility venture. The five programs the pair are developing could lead to as many as 1,000 new jobs in the coming months and years.

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Chevrolet finally adds ‘find my car’ to its app

Ashton Kutcher jokes aside, Chevy has finally rolled out a feature that forgetful vehicles owners are sure to love (assuming they remember to use it). The “vehicle locate” service will remind you, and ten of your closest family and friends, exactly where in this giant Walmart parking lot your ride home is.

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Lyft’s Shared Saver rides save you money if you’re willing to walk more

If you’re part of the 35 percent of people who shared their Lyfts in 2018 and are hoping to save a bit more cash, all you have to do is spend some shoe leather. The company has announced a new feature called Shared Saver which will shave a couple bucks off your next ride if you’re willing to hike a few extra blocks to a different pick up location.

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Intel’s 5G modems won’t be in phones until 2020

Apple’s going to have to wait a bit before it can compete with Samsung’s 5G-capable handsets. Apple’s chip supplier, Intel, announced on Friday that it won’t have 5G modems available for mobile until sometime next year.

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