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No Man’s Sky has been delayed until August

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 20:01

You'll have to wait a little bit longer to explore the vast universe of No Man's Sky. Hello's Sean Murray said that the delay was because the game had "some key moments [that] needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards." Kotaku first reported the news earlier this week. Originally announced in 2013, No Man's Sky is an ambitious sci-fi game set in a procedurally-generated universe with more than 18 quintillion planets to explore, each with their own unique ecosystems and wildlife — even the soundtrack, by British band 65daysofstatic, is procedurally generated.

Why Jeff Bezos’s space company is going to deliberately crash a spaceship

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 20:00
Space is hard, and space is even harder when you take away all the parachutes. But that's exactly what Blue Origin, the pet space company of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is going to do on its next test flight. DON'T MISS: Model X owner files Lemon Law suit against Tesla, claims car is unsafe to drive Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is similar to SpaceX's Falcon 9, in that it's reusable. The one rocket has now flown (to much lower altitudes than the Falcon 9) and landed three times. In the upcoming test, Bezos plans to deliberately crash-land the crew capsule that sits on top of the rocket: "On this upcoming mission we also plan to stress the crew capsule by landing with an intentionally failed parachute, demonstrating our ability to safely handle that failure scenario. It promises to be an exciting demonstration." The capsule will also be testing out "additional maneuvers" to see how it performs under the different conditions. Bezos has more modest goals right now than SpaceX. While Elon Musk's company is launching satellites, delivering crew to the ISS, and has plans for a Mars mission, Blue Origin is focusing on modest space tourism. The plan is that by 2018, paying customers will ride the New Shepherd rocket to the boundary with space, 62 miles up. They'll experience weightlessness for four minutes, before returning to Earth. Obviously, the crew capsule has to be fully tested before anyone rides to space. That's what the upcoming mission is designed to test. Parachutes slow the capsule's descent, but not everything goes perfectly first time. This test should tell Blue Origin what to expect when things go wrong.

Do you talk to your mother like that? Twitter users say 'slut' and 'whore' a LOT, study finds

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:44

Twitter users in the UK abusively hurled the terms around 10,000 times during the course of just three weeks.

Now Gawker has its own billionaire backer, sort of

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:43

NEW YORK (AP) — The courtroom fight between former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and news-and-gossip site Gawker is becoming a battleground of sorts for Silicon Valley tycoons as well.

Cellphone radiation study raises concerns despite low risk

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal study of the potential dangers of cellphone radiation, conducted in rats, found a slight increase in brain tumors in males and raised long-dormant concerns about the safety of spending so much time with cellphones glued to our ears.

This backpack computer makes a PC-grade virtual reality experience portable

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:20
One of the problems with virtual reality is that it’s not really portable. You’ve got your Google Cardboard and Gear VR products that can turn your mobile phone into a VR machine, but that’s not the powerful VR experience many users want. That’s what the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are for. But such advanced VR headsets have to be tethered to a computer that can deliver enough horsepower to offer you a more immersive VR experience. Luckily, some companies have figured out a clever way to offer users a mobile VR experience that is PC-grade. MSI is one of them, and the company has just come up with a Backpack PC that will let you take VR anywhere you want to go. Or at least, it will prevent you from tripping over wires. DON’T MISS: The iPhone 7 might actually be in trouble Yes, this sounds a bit crazy. Who wants to walk around wearing a VR rig? But MSI’s solution is still impressive, as it will let users enjoy VR games without being tethered to a desk. Think about it; you won’t take the Backpack PC outside of your home – OK, some of you will – but you could use it for untethered VR experiences, like the ones  the guys over at The Void have imagined . That's what MSI has in mind, at least. "Free from the restraint of a fixed VR platform, users get to move around and enjoy VR with big movements and total immersion. No more worries about accidently [sic] unplugging the wires between the VR device and the platform. MSI Backpack PC renders greater mobility and freedom for VR gaming," the company says in its teaser presentation . We don’t have pricing details or a release date for MSI’s Backpack PC, but the company promises to announce more details next week at Computex. We do know the Backpack PC will be powered by a Core i7 processor and a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, which should be enough to offer a very decent VR experience. As The Verge points out , MSI isn’t the only company doing this. Zotac has a similar idea in the works, and we’re probably going to see others find ways of putting VR-capable computer on our backs in the future.

Watch this incredibly sweet short about growing up with video games

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:08

It seems like player two always gets the short end of things, from getting second choice to always being second to play. But a really sweet animated short published to Vimeo last month makes the argument that there's something very special about going second when your older sibling is the one up first. I won't say more than that except to say that you really ought to watch it — and that if you can relate to this at all, you'll probably get kind of emotional before it's over.

SpaceX makes fourth successful rocket landing

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 19:07

SpaceX launched an Asian communications satellite into a distant orbit Friday and for the fourth time managed to recover the rocket that did the work. Under blue skies dotted with clouds, the shiny white Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:40 pm (2140 GMT) carrying the Thaicom 8 satellite. SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California erupted in cheers as the rocket touched down.

Jawbone's Hail Mary product is a clinical wearable it hasn't yet released

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 18:45

It's been a rough Friday for Jawbone — a Friday before a holiday weekend, at that! — with two different reports stating that the tech company is trying to sell its audio business and has stopped production of its Up fitness trackers. The Verge has independently confirmed through sources that Jawbone is trying to sell its audio business. Jawbone had also explored licensing its audio tech rather than selling off that part of the business entirely, a source says.

ZTE is opening 23 retail stores this year to boost phone sales

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 18:31

ZTE will open 23 stores across China and Europe this year to better establish its smartphone brand, according to a report from Bloomberg. A vast majority of the stores will be located in Chinese cities, with three additional locations slated for Germany, Russia, and Mexico. The tech retail model was popularized in 2001 by Apple, which has used its stores to establish an iconic presence in many of the world's biggest cities.

How to use Windows 10's Resource Monitor to track memory usage

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 18:04

Windows 10 offers a number of ways to keep an eye on your system's memory usage. Here's a rundown of the options you'll find on Resource Monitor's Memory tab.

‘Modular’ smartphones are 2016’s dumb trend

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 18:00
The LG G5 has them. Google's first consumer phone will have them. The iPhone has some, thanks to this butt-ugly case . And now, it would appear that Motorola's upcoming smartphone will have modules. But don't let the trends deceive you: modular smartphones are not here to stay. DON'T MISS:   Axon 7 is a flagship Android phone with killer specs that you never saw coming According to ever-reliable mobile leaker Evan Blass , Motorola's next handset will come with three "MotoMods," which is brand-speak for cases that do things. The cases will reportedly feature a projector, speakers, and a fancy Hasselblad camera. On the surface, these kinds of "modules" seem to make sense -- people sometimes want a better camera (or, apparently the ability to put a crappy projection on a wall), and these cases give them that functionality when they need it. But I don't buy into the module idea, and I suspect the vast majority of people don't either. Pricing hasn't been revealed for the Hasselblad-branded camera module, but you can expect it to be a couple hundred dollars. Smartphones are already heinously expensive to buy every two years, and I can't see consumers sinking hundreds of dollars into mods, which are going to become outdated and useless in two years' time when they upgrade to a different smartphone. It's not just the cost, either. People who want a really good camera will just get a phone with a kick-ass camera to begin with. If that's not enough camera -- and remember, smartphone cameras are already insanely good these days -- then chances are you need a mirrorless camera or a DSLR, not an overpriced branded add-on. It's the same story with pretty much everything else. Why buy a chunky speaker module, when you could spend $50 on a Bluetooth speaker that will absolutely be better? Modules provide a marginal bump in performance, but they're expensive, only work with one device, and are normally outclassed by buying a standalone camera, speaker, or projector. On the surface, Google's Project Ara looks like it could be the difference. With Ara, you're not sticking on attachments if you feel like it -- modules are a fairly critical part of the phone's construction, so you're not adding extra bulk by trading out a big speaker for an extra battery. But even there, things aren't perfect. In order for the phone to be modular, it has to be thick and unattractive. We've spent a decade getting accustomed to smartphones as sleek devices crafted from steel and glass, and most people don't want to go back to something the size of a deck of cards, made from plastic. Modules aren't being driven by consumers wanting more features from their phones. It's Motorola, LG and Google trying to differentiate their devices from a sea of black rectangles. That's a good goal -- smartphones have been standing still for the last few years -- but modules aren't going to be the way to do it. Now, if I could just have my interchangeable batteries back, all will be well in the world.

SpaceX successfully lands a Falcon 9 rocket at sea for the third time

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:56

SpaceX just successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the third time in a row the company has landed a rocket booster at sea, and the fourth time overall. After landing, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that there would be "some risk of tipping" as the rocket was brought back to port.

GameStop expecting new console announcements at E3

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:26

Get ready for some console announcements at E3, GameStop says.

Town forces asses to wear diapers

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:22

Technically Incorrect: Citing a need to preserve its tarmac roads, the town of Wajir in Kenya does the unthinkable and requires underwear on its donkeys.

Hoping for a happy adulthood for Harry Potter? Think again

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:20

Accio Kleenex! Fans are going to do some sobbing if they see the new play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," J.K. Rowling promises.

Verizon, unions reach deal in principle for 4-year contract

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 17:19

NEW YORK (AP) — Striking Verizon employees may be back to work next week after the company and its unions reached an agreement in principle for a four-year contract.