Don’t be fooled by the internet: this week in tech, 20 years ago


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1999 MTV Video Music Awards

Photo by KMazur/WireImage

This year marks a lot of big film anniversaries, and this week, everyone is celebrating The Blair Witch Project. Vice collected a full oral history of how the years-long experimental film project became one of the biggest horror movies of all time. You can read glowing 1999 reviews from Roger Ebert, The New York Times, and The Washington Post online, plus a CNN article confirming that the three stars were not actually dead. You can also check out an early AV Club interview with co-directors Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, who agree that “the best way to see this movie is to know as little about it as possible” — so if you still haven’t seen it in 2019, you should probably give all those links a pass.

Either way, read on for some…

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Original Content podcast: We’re not on the same page about ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’


This post is by Anthony Ha from TechCrunch


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Just to get this out of the way: “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” is a great title. In fact, it’s probably the best thing about the new comedy special on Netflix .

That’s not a complaint about the special itself, which stars David Harbour (a.k.a. Chief Hopper on “Stranger Things”), as both David Harbour Jr — an actor taking on the role of Frankenstein in a play also called “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” — and David Harbour III, an actor who investigates his father’s life decades later.

If this sounds needlessly complicated don’t worry. As we explain on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, the plot mostly serves as a springboard lots for jokes about actorly jealousy, Chekhov’s gun and the fact that no one can remember that Frankenstein and his monster are two different people. Anthony and Darrell, at least, found the whole thing to be

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11 new trailers you should watch this week


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Photo: 20th Century Fox

Comic-Con is here, and that means a surge of new trailers for big, buzzy films. This year, some of the larger studios are sitting out or maintaining a lower presence than usual. That means we’re not going to get a blockbuster Marvel or DC trailer, but there are still plenty of huge names popping up along with some questionably necessary franchise revivals.

I’ve collected everything that arrived through Friday afternoon in today’s trailer roundup, but stay tuned to the site, because some major names are likely to drop over Saturday and Sunday as well.

Check out 11 new trailers from this week below.

It Chapter 2

It Chapter 2 is coming out two years to the day after the original, with all the big stars returning for what looks like another…

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Samsung’s unlocked Galaxy S10 phones are still $200 off this weekend


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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Samsung Galaxy S10 was $300 off during Amazon Prime Day earlier this week. If you missed out on that deal, you can get $200 off, which is still a good price, on the S10E, S10, and S10 Plus phones at Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo.

If you’re looking for an unlocked phone, you can save that $200 on any storage configuration. We’ve listed the most affordable options below:

If you’re changing carriers, you can get an even better deal at Best Buy: a staggering $500 off any S10 model (S10E, S10, S10…

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Marvel will explore the origins of Kylo Ren in a new comic series


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Photo: Lucasfilm / Disney

When Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, its 30-year jump from Return of the Jedi introduced plenty of new characters and mysteries to the franchise. One of those was how Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son Ben turned to the dark side to become Kylo Ren. Later this year, Marvel Comics will explore some of that story with new comic miniseries: The Rise of Kylo Ren.

Lucasfilm announced the four-issue comic series at the Lucasfilm publishing panel yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con. Charles Soule, the writer behind Marvel’s Darth Vader and Poe Dameron comics, will write the series.

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China has deorbited its experimental space station


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(SHENZHOU-11-TIANGONG-2) CHINA-SHENZHOU-11-TIANGONG-2-DOCKING (CN)

Xinhua/Ju Zhenhua via Getty Images

A little over a year after its first space station crashed down over the Pacific Ocean, China has deorbited its second, the Tiangong-2. It entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over the South Pacific ocean on Friday.

Unlike the Tiangong-1 station’s uncontrolled descent, China deliberately brought the Tiangong-2 down to Earth in a controlled fashion over the Pacific, where there wasn’t any risk of it hitting people.

China launched the space station in September 2016, and quickly sent up a pair of taikonauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, to conduct a variety of experiments on a 30 day mission. China launched a second, uncrewed mission in April 2017 to refuel the station to test out a new spacecraft and conduct some “robotic…

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7 books to pick up to catch up on the story of Apollo 11


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Photo by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is upon us, and in that time, there has been plenty of ink spilled about the implications, technical specifications, individuals, and historical significance of the mission. As with any big anniversary, publishers have seized the moment to release an entire library’s worth of new material about the history of the Apollo program, and there are a number of new books to check out if you’re interested in learning more about the mission.

These books cover a wide range of topics related to the mission: the actual Apollo 11 landing itself, but also the efforts of the thousands of engineers, scientists, administrators, and politicians who played a role.

Here are a bunch more to add to your…

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Watch three astronauts launch to space on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing


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This afternoon, the next round of astronauts are headed to the International Space Station, the same day as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. A three-person crew — made up of NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency — are heading to space on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan.

The trio will be joining the three current members of the International Space Station — NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, as well as Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. All three have been aboard since March, when they launched to the ISS. For Hague and Ovchinin, that trip was actually their second launch to the station, after their…

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I wish Hasbro’s new Boba Fett helmet was available when I was a kid


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Image: Hasbro

You’ll soon be able to dress up as Star Wars’ most infamous bounty hunter — or at least get a start on a costume. On Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro revealed that it will release a new entry in its premium Black Series line of costume accessories: Boba Fett’s helmet.

The Black Series line is Hasbro’s higher-end toy line, comprising of detailed action figures, lightsabers, and wearables. Over the last couple of years, it’s released versions of the helmets for characters like Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers, Shadow Troopers, and the X-Wing pilot helmets worn by Poe Dameron and Luke Skywalker.

Boba Fett’s helmet will join that lineup sometime in 2020. According to The Hollywood Reporter, preorders will begin today at 5:30PM ET, and it’ll…

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Startups Weekly: The opportunities & challenges for mental health tech


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Before that, I noted the big uptick in VC spending in 2019.

Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here.

Now let’s talk about mental health startups. VCs may be confident in the potential of teletherapy, but struggling companies in the space tell another story.

Nine months ago Basis launched a website and app for guided conversations via chat or video with pseudo-therapists or people trained in research-backed approaches but who lack the same certifications as a counseling or clinical psychologist. I wrote a story noting

Basis Team

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Video Of The Week: CEO AMA


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AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything.” I have noticed a trend of CEOs doing these AMAs for their customers and broader stakeholder communities.

A good example of a CEO who is doing this is Brian Armstrong, CEO of our portfolio company Coinbase.

Brian has been doing this for several months. You can see all of them on their YouTube channel.

Here is the one he did with LJ Brock, Coinbase’s Chief People Officer, yesterday.

Geared Up: New Nintendo Switch Consoles, Apple Kills the MacBook, & Galaxy Note 10 Crazy Battery!


This post is by Andru Edwards from Gear Live


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The Death of the Xbox

On this week's Geared Up, we talk about the two new Nintendo Switch consoles that were announced this past week – the Nintendo Switch Lite and the Nintendo Switch with refreshed battery. In the case of the Switch Lite, we are getting a new handheld-only portable console with a cheaper price and some caveats. Over on the standard Switch front, we were expecting a pro version of the Switch as well, but instead got the same hardware with increased battery life.

Apple has significantly changed its laptop computer lineup with the release of a cheaper MacBook Air and the addition of premium features on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro while simultaneously killing the 12-inch MacBook and the older entry-level MacBook Air. We go over why this actually provides clarity for anyone looking to buy an Apple laptop.

Samsung will be announcing the Galaxy Note 10 at an event on August

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Tesla drops request for restraining order against allegedly dangerous short seller


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Tesla has withdrawn its request for a court-ordered restraining order against Randeep Hothi, documents submitted to the court where the complaint was filed revealed Friday. Hothi, an individual who is very vocal on social media about his short position in Tesla, had gone to extreme and potentially dangerous lengths in his avid attempts to collect materials to support his vocal criticism, according to the company.

The Alameda County Superior Court actually granted Tesla a temporary injunction in this matter back in April, after Tesla filed a complaint with supporting documents supporting its assertion that Hothi had injured a guard during a hit-and-run incident in February, and that he nearly caused an accident by driving dangerously in pursuit of a Tesla Model 3 undertaking a test driven on April 16.

After granting the temporary injunction based on Tesla’s description of events, supporting materials, and written affidavits submitted by employees, the

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Google is adding Find My Device and battery features to Fast Pair headphones


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Introduced a few I/Os back, Fast Pair is Google’s attempt to make its own mark on the post-AirPod headphone landscape. Many of the features are similar to Apple’s offerings, but Google’s got a leg up in one key way: third-party hardware. Like Android, the company’s focused on bringing Fast Pair to as many manufacturers as possible.

That list now includes Libratone, Jaybird, JBL (four models), Cleer, LG (four models), Anker (one pair of headphones and speaker) and, of course, Google’s own Pixel Buds. This week, the company announced a number of key features coming to Fast Pair headphones.

New this time around is Find My Device functionality, aimed at helping owners locate missing headsets. The app will show the time and location they were last in use, and will send out a chime from buds that are still in Bluetooth range.

Also new

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Google is adding Find My Device and battery features to Fast Pair headphones


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Introduced a few I/Os back, Fast Pair is Google’s attempt to make its own mark on the post-AirPod headphone landscape. Many of the features are similar to Apple’s offerings, but Google’s got a leg up in one key way: third-party hardware. Like Android, the company’s focused on bringing Fast Pair to as many manufacturers as possible.

That list now includes Libratone, Jaybird, JBL (four models), Cleer, LG (four models), Anker (one pair of headphones and speaker) and, of course, Google’s own Pixel Buds. This week, the company announced a number of key features coming to Fast Pair headphones.

New this time around is Find My Device functionality, aimed at helping owners locate missing headsets. The app will show the time and location they were last in use, and will send out a chime from buds that are still in Bluetooth range.

Also new

Continue reading “Google is adding Find My Device and battery features to Fast Pair headphones”

Moon bricks could keep the lights on and the heat up in Lunar colonies


This post is by Devin Coldewey from TechCrunch


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There may be no “dark side” of the Moon, but when and where it is dark, it’s dark — and stays that way for two weeks. If we’re going to have colonists up there, they’ll need to stay warm and keep the lights (among other things) on for the long lunar night. Turns out bricks made of Moon dust could be part of the solution.

Of course they will use the readily available solar power during the lunar day, and you might think that they could just charge up some batteries to last them through the night. But batteries are large and heavy — not the kind of thing you want to pack for a trip to the Moon.

How else could lunar colonies store energy? The European Space Agency partnered with Azimut Space to find out whether a sort of improvised geothermal energy solution would be feasible.

Tinder is now bypassing the Play Store on Android to avoid Google’s 30 percent cut


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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Tinder parent company Match Group has just become the latest high-profile software maker to stiff Google on its 30 percent fee for all Android transactions through the Play Store. To avoid paying the company on in-app purchases of subscriptions to services like Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus, Match Group will now encourage users to enter credit card details directly into Tinder’s systems, according to Bloomberg, citing new research by Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter.

The move is similar to one made by popular video game developer Epic Games, which last year released the Android version of battle royale hit Fortnite via its own downloadable launcher to avoid the 30 percent cut. Notably, Tinder is Match Group’s most profitable entity, and…

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The Witcher’s first trailer brings Henry Cavill’s Geralt to life


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The first trailer for Netflix’s live-action Witcher series has arrived, and unfortunately does not include main character Geralt in a bathtub.

It’s evident The Witcher is ready to take over for Game of Thrones as people’s new, favorite fantasy series. The trailer teases the magical Geralt’s story, as he and those around him prepare to take on a series of evil forces. There are teases of black magic, giant creatures and, of course, political turmoil. Netflix isn’t trying to make a magical drama designed for teens; it’s a pretty adult interpretation.

The Witcher is one of Netflix’s most anticipated shows. The company caught attention when it announced that Henry Cavill (Superman in the DC Cinematic Universe films) would play the central…

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