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Fortnite players are mad after being killed during the epic rocket launch

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

This afternoon, Epic Games unveiled its latest in-game event in Fortnite: a rocket launch that appears to have opened up a dimensional rift. The launch was a one-time event that saw thousands of players logging into the game to watch what would happen. While many people took in the spectacular sight, some people missed out when they were killed mid-event.

Now in its fourth season, Fortnite has exploded in popularity, which my colleague Nick Statt chalks up to its continually updated story in its vast shared world. Epic Games has conducted big, Earth-shattering events before, and in recent weeks, teased a mysterious event with a countdown that got fans excited to take part in.

This sort of one-time event feels special, because it gives…

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Tesla keeps changing how it builds the Model 3

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

The Model 3 is a supremely important product for the future of Tesla. It’s what CEO Elon Musk says will help the company get out of the red, and it could also be the first widely-adopted all-electric car. And on the eve of one of the most important deadlines in the company’s 15-year history, the company is still figuring out the best way to build it.

Today marks the end of the second financial quarter of 2018, and it’s also the deadline that Musk set for Tesla to make Model 3s at a rate of 5,000 per week. Tesla needs to reach this rate of production so that it stops losing money on every Model 3 it makes. Once it reaches this rate, the company can climb towards the eventual goal of bringing in a 25 percent margin on each of the sedans.

T…

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Fortnite’s rocket launch created a spectacular dimensional rift in the sky

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

After days of teasing something big, Fortnite’s much-hyped rocket event finally arrived today. Unlike previous ceremonies, this occasion only happens once: if you weren’t in-game when it happened, you missed out on your chance to experience it. Fortunately, we strapped in and saw everything unfold first-hand.

An hour before the festivities, Fortnite’s island started gearing up for launch by animating the super villain lair near in-game location Snobby Shores that contained the rocket:

Less than an hour guys! New beam of light is coming from the rocket base #FORTNITE #fortnitebattleroyale #FortniteBR pic.twitter.com/pzwz53TLTq
— Sam (@PeateElite) June 30, 2018

As launch time drew near, the game’s players started logging-in en-masse,…

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8 new trailers you should watch this week

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

The second season of Westworld wrapped up last weekend, and I still find the show as infuriating and fascinating as ever. I think Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff is spot on here with how he contrasts the series to Lost — Westworld is all puzzle, no characters; so there’s a lot more riding on the puzzle being really good.

What’s frustrating is that, this season’s Ghost Nation episode “Kiksuya” showed just how strong of a show Westworld can be when it hones in on its characters and tells deeper, more complex (and coherent) stories about its world. I know it doesn’t want to do that — it’s more interested in twists and turns. And at this point, I’m not even sure that I want it to either.

The oddest thing about Westworld is that it’s so much more than…

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Jimmy Fallon will kick off Tonight Show book club with YA fantasy Children of Blood and Bone

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

Jimmy Fallon is starting a summer book club on The Tonight Show, and last night, he unveiled its first pick: YA fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi.

Fallon announced the book club last week, and listed off five possible picks for viewers to vote on: Children of Blood and Bone, IQ23 by Joe Ide, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, Providence by Caroline Kepnes and The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong. Audience members selected Adeyemi’s book by a wide margin.

Image: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Children of Blood and Bone earned considerable buzz even before it was published earlier in March: Adeyemi signed a huge deal for the book and its sequels last year, while Fox 2000 snapped up the film rights…

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Drake’s Scorpion breaks Apple Music’s single-day streaming record with over 170 million streams

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

Drake has destroyed his own single-day streaming record on Apple Music, with his fifth album Scorpion pulling in more than 170 million streams in its first 24 hours, the company tells The Verge. More Life, Drake’s last project, held the previous record with 89.9 million streams in its first day. Apple says Scorpion now holds both the US and global streaming records for the service, and the debut is the largest single-day streaming total for any album on any streaming service to date.

Apple Music was in full promo mode for the release, inserting Drake easter eggs into Siri, and launching a site that lets you make your own Scorpion album cover art with personal photos.

Apple Music is working overtime for
This is what happens when you…

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The mobile airbag may be coming to save your phone

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

People drop and break their smartphones all the time, but a German engineering student named Philip Frenzel may have the solution to save everyone some time, money, and unneeded stress. Spotted by DesignBoom, Frenzel has created the mobile airbag, a case that senses when your phone is in free fall and releases metal prongs to protect it from damage.

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A student at Aalen University in Germany, Frenzel won an award from the German Mechatronics Society with the mobile airbag, and expects to launch the device on Kickstarter next month along with Peter Mayer, another student at the university, according to the German publication Preview Online.

If this product — or a similar one like it, with an…

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Disney’s flying robot stunt double can pose just like a superhero

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

If you were going to bet on which technology might soon do the work of a stuntman, you’d probably guess CGI. It turns out robots have a shot, too — robots built by Disney.

A new report from TechCrunch lays out the advances the company has made in the field of animatronics. These are the lifelike, usually static robots, designed to entertain the crowds at Disney theme parks and resorts. Think of the grog-swilling pirates carousing in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, or the recently unveiled Na’vi in the new Pandora: The World of Avatar attraction.

But a new breed of animatronics are pushing the limits of robot engineering. Following the company’s Stickman project, Disney’s engineers are now building humanoid robots designed to take…

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‘Local Twitter’ finally gives a name to being performatively basic online

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

If you’ve spent much time on Twitter, there’s a good chance you’ve been exposed to “local Twitter.” The phenomenon has existed for years, but recently, it’s been clearly branded, and as the term has become more widespread, the general concept is being ushered into larger, more mainstream awareness.

Providing a hard-stop definition of “local Twitter” is tricky; much like obscenity, you know it when you see it. Local is tweeting about how much you love pizza and Target, fawning over dogs, or posting Drake lyrics, especially with the caption “mood.” Local is having to ask whether your Twitter feed is local. Justin Belloli, a 17-year-old from California, says via DM that you’ve encountered local if you’ve ever surfed by a basic tweet that…

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The best Fourth of July tech deals from Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, Walmart, and more

June 30, 2018 Alex 0

Next Wednesday is July Fourth, one of the few summer holidays with decent sales. Whether you’re planning a huge barbecue or just taking the day to enjoy a rare weekday off from work, you may want to take some time to check out the tech deals happening around Independence Day this year.

Retailers like Amazon, eBay, HP, and more are running sales on everything from smartwatches to 4K TVs. Most Fourth of July deals run through next weekend.

Amazon
Not officially a Fourth of July sale, Amazon is running discounts on several tech products including their smart speaker, the Amazon Tap.

Samsung Flat 65-inch 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV — $1,397.99 (usually $1,699.99)

Amazon Tap — $84.99 (usually $129.99)

Fire TV Cube + Cloud Cam bundle —…

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