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iFixit When we went hands-on with the iPhone XS and XS Max, we were mainly struck by how similar they felt to the iPhone X—particularly the iPhone XS. But it turns out that inside, it's the iPhone XS that diverges with an unusual new battery design. iFixit tore down both phones and provided analysis and gorgeous pictures as always. Be sure to check out their full teardown, but a few highlights stand out. Let's be clear: both of these phones are the iPhone X in more ways than not. Last year brought that quasi-radical redesign of Apple's product, but what was quasi-radical in 2017 is standard in 2018. Most of the components in both phones are the same, or very close, to what we saw in the iPhone X. Small changes include an added antenna band on the bottom of each device near the Lightning port (which iFixit speculates has to do with Gigabit LTE), a 32 percent larger wide angle sensor and increased pixel size for the rear camera in both phones, and a larger taptic engine and extended logic board in the iPhone XS Max. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai speaks to the media after the vote to repeal net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong ) The New York Times has sued the Federal Communications Commission over the agency's refusal to release records that the Times believes might shed light on Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding. The Times made a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in June 2017 for FCC server logs related to the system for accepting public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality rules. The FCC refused to provide the records, telling the Times that doing so would jeopardize the privacy of commenters and the effectiveness of the agency's IT security practices and that fulfilling the records request would be overly burdensome. This led to a months-long process in which the Times repeatedly narrowed its public records request in order to overcome the FCC's various objections. But the FCC still refuses to release any of the records requested by the Times, so the newspaper sued the commission yesterday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / I don't feel so good. (credit: Getty | Christopher Furlong) Puppies given a startling amount of antibiotics have spurred a multi-state outbreak of diarrhea-causing bacterial infections that are extensively drug resistant, federal and state health officials report this week. The finding, published in the September 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that the dog industry is in serious need of training and obedience classes. The “widespread administration of multiple antibiotic classes” to puppies, including all of the classes commonly used to treat diarrhea infections in humans, is an alarming finding, the officials suggested. They called for fairly simple fixes including better hygiene and animal husbandry practices, as well as veterinary oversight of antibiotic use. “Implementation of antibiotic stewardship principles and practices in the commercial dog industry is needed,” they concluded bluntly. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Cody Wilson speaks at the 2015 SXSW Conference for the premiere of the documentary, Deep Web. (credit: Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW) Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson was arrested at a hotel in Taipei City's Wanhua District at around 6pm local time in Taipei today, according to reports in Taiwanese outlets The Liberty Times (Chinese,  Google Translate) and United Daily News (Chinese, Google Translate). Authorities had seen Wilson on hotel security monitors earlier in the day, around 3pm local time. They soon sent staff to wait outside the door, and Wilson eventually walked out three hours later. Liberty Times notes Wilson did not have any contraband on him at the time of the arrest, and he appeared calm when approached by authorities. Wilson was arrested for illegally entering Taiwan after the US cancelled his passport (Google Translate). Taipei police reportedly handed Wilson over to the National Immigration Agency. Though Taiwan lacks an extradition agreement with the US, the NIA told media (Google Translate) they are quickly making arrangements to deport him back to the US. Details about how that will be coordinated were not reported. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Once you take aim, behind-the-scenes math takes control. Turn-based tactics with an action game twist. That’s the simple, potent blend that made the original Valkyria Chronicles so immediately striking back in 2008. Now, two PSP sequels and one ill-conceived pseudo-spin-off later, that formula returns to consoles in Valkyria Chronicles 4. It’s got the same hooks of that original game, including the watercolor-and-pencil graphics and plenty of anime relationships to tease out over 35-ish combat-heavy hours. In fact, despite being the fourth game in the series, VC4 even returns to the series’ original conflict—a sort of Norse-flavored, alternate history World War II. An evil empire (a fantastical mix of Nazi Germany and the USSR) is invading the “Atlantic Federation” and a plucky crew of volunteers from Gallia (basically fantasy Holland) sign up to bring the fight back to the fascists, big tank in tow. All of these beats feel so much like that first game that VC4 comes across almost as a soft reboot of the original rather than a side story. The more things don’t change Combat and progression have been simplified compared to the previous sequels. Battle begins from an overhead perspective, but shifts to an over-the-shoulder view when you select a unit. From there you can move your units in real-time, limited only by the soldier’s dwindling “Action Points.” While you line up shots as in any over-the-shoulder shooter, a weapon’s precise aim is out of your control. It’s up to the JRPG math behind the scenes—massaged by your reticle placement—to land blows and critical headshots. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: NASA) NASA's successor to the Kepler mission, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is already paying dividends. The satellite was only launched in April, and spent time undergoing commissioning and calibration. But it has now started its science mission, and researchers have already discovered two new planets. These are expected to be the first of as many as 10,000 planets spotted by TESS. So we thought this was a good opportunity to take a careful look at the planet hunter's design, the goals that informed the design, and what its success should mean for our understanding of exoplanets. Four eyes The body of TESS is pretty simple, being composed largely of a fuel tank and thrusters. It's got reaction wheels for fine control of its orientation and a pair of solar panels for power. The business end of TESS consists of a sun shield protecting not one but four telescopes. Instead of being able to focus on faint objects, the telescopes (each a stack of seven lenses above CCD imaging hardware) are designed to capture a broad patch of the sky. Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Marvel’s Daredevil season 3 trailer. Man, Marvel is on a roll these days. Season two of Iron Fist just dropped a few weeks ago, and Marvel is already trotting out the teaser trailer for Daredevil's third season. It's clear Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock is in for a dark descent, psychologically, along with the regular beatings that leave him bloodied but unbowed. And could Kingpin be making a reprise as Matt's arch nemesis? (Mild spoilers for first two seasons below) Daredevil S1 is among my favorite stories in the Defenders universe, second only to Jessica Jones S1, in large part because Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin, played to perfection by Vincent D'Onofrio) was such an incredibly complex and even occasionally sympathetic villain. Strong villains are key to these series' success, and season two suffered a bit because of Fisk's absence (apart from a brief prison appearance), focusing instead on introducing the Chinese crime syndicate the Hand in preparation for their role as the Big Bad in the first Defenders series. But a vast syndicate isn't nearly as compelling as a violent psychopath with exquisite taste who also longs for love. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Hayabusa2 spacecraft spies its shadow Thursday night as it descends toward Ryugu to deploy two small rovers. (credit: JAXA) Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft hasn't garnered much attention in the western world, but on Friday night the 609kg vehicle attempted something rather amazing. The spacecraft descended from its station-keeping orbit 20km above a small asteroid down to just 60 meters, and there it deployed two miniature rovers bound for the surface. Each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named Ryugu. Japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown. This is presumably because Ryugu's rotation took the rovers out of view from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, but scientists won't know for sure until later Friday (or Saturday morning, in Japan) when they attempt to download images from the rovers. And thus we are left with a suspenseful situation. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A Verizon construction engineer inspects a pair of radio heads on a mock small cell near Sacramento City Hall in 2017. (credit: Verizon) The Federal Communications Commission's plan for spurring 5G wireless deployment will prevent city and town governments from charging carriers about $2 billion worth of fees. The FCC proposal, to be voted on at its meeting on September 26, limits the amount that local governments may charge carriers for placing 5G equipment such as small cells on poles, traffic lights, and other government property in public rights-of-way. The proposal, which is supported by the FCC's Republican majority, would also force cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days. The FCC says this will spur more deployment of small cells, which "have antennas often no larger than a small backpack." But the commission's proposal doesn't require carriers to build in areas where they wouldn't have done so anyway. Read 33 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Falcon 1 rocket ascends toward space on its fourth flight. (credit: SpaceX) They bunked in a double-wide trailer, cramming inside on cots and sleeping bags, as many as a dozen at a time. In the mornings, they feasted on steaming plates of scrambled eggs. At night, beneath some of the darkest skies on Earth, they grilled steaks and wondered if the heavens above were beyond their reach. Kids, most of them, existed alone on a tiny speck of an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was the middle of nowhere, really. And they worked. They worked desperately—tinkering, testing, and fixing—hoping that nothing would go wrong this time. Already, their small rocket had failed three times. One more launch anomaly likely meant the end of Space Exploration Technologies. Three times, in 2006, 2007, and 2008, SpaceX tried to launch a Falcon 1 rocket from Omelek Island in the Pacific Ocean, a coral shelf perhaps a meter above sea level and the size of three soccer fields. Less than two months after the last failure, the money was running out. SpaceX had just one final rocket to launch, with only some spare components left over in its California factory. Read 70 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Rocket Report is published weekly. (credit: Arianespace/Aurich Lawson) Welcome to Edition 1.18 of the Rocket Report! Lots of news on medium- and large-sized rockets, including milestones for the Delta II and Ariane 5 rockets, as well as a round-up of SpaceX's big announcement of its first customer for the Big Falcon Rocket. Oh yeah, we even try to make some sense of propulsion based on quantized inertia. (We fail). As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar. Georgia's spaceport gets a tenant. The Camden County Joint Development Authority, which seeks to develop a spaceport near the Atlantic coast, announced this week that it has reached an agreement with ABL Space Systems to establish an integration and testing facility for the small launch vehicle that company is developing. The RS1 rocket, which has a test launch planned for 2020, is designed to place up to 900kg into low Earth orbit at a price of $17 million a launch, SpaceNews reports. Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Veronica Mars, circa season three. (credit: Rob Thomas) Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix seem to have all settled on one recipe for success: rebooting cult classic TV series that didn't quite hit it big in their original broadcast runs. Netflix grabbed Arrested Development (for better or worse), Amazon picked up The Expanse, and Hulu saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Now Variety reports that Hulu is going for an even deeper cut: Veronica Mars. The cult-classic feminist crime drama premiered on UPN in 2004 and continued for three seasons. The last ran on The CW. Between its ties to struggling new broadcast networks and the fact that it was way too smart and had way too much social commentary for its own good—especially for a series that was framed as a teen show but that in a lot of ways really wasn't—the series met an early mid-season demise with low ratings. It found a cult following on DVD before the streaming hype hit full volume, and in 2013, creator Rob Thomas, star Kristen Bell, and others banded together to launch a Kicksarter campaign to follow it up with a feature film. That campaign raised $6 million compared to its target of $2 million and was, at the time, one of the most successful Kickstarters yet. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / GILLETTE, Wyo.: A truck loaded with coal is viewed from the Eagle Butte Coal Mine Overlook which is operated by Alpha Coal. The area is a large producer of coal. Gillette uses the moniker of "The Energy Capital of the Nation". (Photo by (credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images) On Wednesday, Wyoming's Land Quality Advisory Board voted to limit so-called "self-bonding" in the state, a practice that allows coal and other mining companies to avoid putting up any collateral to reclaim land when the company is done with the mine. The new proposed rules will go through a public comment period and then need to be signed by the governor of the state to take effect, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The board's passage of the proposed rules is somewhat surprising in a coal-heavy state, because it could potentially raise the cost of coal mining in Wyoming for some companies. However, there is political support for more stringent environmental rules after a number of coal companies filed for bankruptcy in recent years. Although no companies ended up abandoning mine cleanup to the state, the specter of hundreds of millions of dollars of cleanup in the event of another coal downturn has left regulators eager to limit how much damage the state could be on the hook for. The five-person advisory board voted 4-1 in favor of limiting self-bonding. The board member who voted against limits to self-bonding works for Peabody Energy, a major coal producer in the state. The limits wouldn't do away with self-bonding in Wyoming. Instead, to qualify for self-bonding, a coal company would have to have a strong credit-rating and would be expected to run the mine for at least five more years. The Star-Tribune notes that credit ratings for coal firms also factor in the health of the market, so the state of Wyoming wouldn't have to independently evaluate the larger economic risks to a mine going under. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Cody Wilson (right), the founder of Defense Distributed, spoke to reporters in Austin on August 28. (credit: Nathan Mattise) After skipping his flight back to the US in the wake of accusations of sexual assault against a minor, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson attempted to rent an apartment in Taipei this week, according to United Daily News (Chinese, Google Translate), a Chinese-language media outlet based in Taiwan. That article indicates Wilson appears to have initially passed himself off as an American student living in the city. But after Wilson seemed to have secured an apartment by making an initial down payment, the rental agency reportedly recognized him and called the authorities. UDN writes that area police and Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau are now trying to again locate Wilson. On Wednesday, police in Austin, Texas, first announced that they had a warrant out for the arrest of the 3D-printed gun pioneer on that allegation of sexual assault of an underage girl. At a press conference later that afternoon, the Austin Police Department revealed that Wilson’s last known location was Taiwan and that the department was not sure whether Wilson had gone to Taiwan on legitimate business or whether he was expressly trying to flee the United States. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: US Coast Guard / Flickr) Shortly after Hurricane Harvey unleashed its flooding on Houston, we wrote about a remarkable observation shared by a scientist on Twitter: the weight of all that floodwater had measurably depressed the Earth’s crust. This week, a more detailed study of that observation was published in the journal Science Advances. A team of researchers led by Chris Milliner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory extended its analysis to the weeks after the hurricane and found that the network of sensitive GPS sensors could actually track the volume of floodwater as it receded. While bedrock is commonly considered representative of concepts like “firm” and “unmovable,” it has some compressibility when the forces are big enough. This “elastic” behavior explains how the land surface around Houston could sag slightly under the weight of Harvey’s prodigious rainfall. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The MQ-9 Reaper isn't a fighter aircraft. But it could soon be armed to take out other drones, helicopters, or other aircraft, after a successful kill with a heat-seeking missile in a November 2017 test. (credit: US Air Force) The US Air Force has revealed that an MQ-9 Reaper uncrewed aircraft successfully shot down a smaller drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile in a test last November. The details, provided by Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing, came in an interview with Military.com at the Air Force Association's Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in Washington, DC, yesterday. The Air Force's Air Combat Command has been exploring ways to arm the MQ-9 with air-to-air weapons since 2003. That was when the Air Force was preparing to issue a contract to General Atomics for the uncrewed aircraft, which was known at the time as the Predator-B. Much of the problem has been that the MQ-9, which is flown over a satellite communications link by Air Force operators, lacks the kind of sensors a fighter aircraft would use to track and target other aircraft. Its Lynx multimode radar is a synthetic aperture radar intended for tracking surface targets on land and sea and for providing ground imaging—but not for searching for other aircraft. Its other sensors (other than navigational cameras) were intended for tracking things below as well. And the MQ-9 lacks the sort of electronic-warfare sensors and countermeasures of crewed combat aircraft. However, the Reaper's Multispectral Targeting System (MTS) has proven to be usable for tracking some types of flying targets. In 2016, the latest version of MTS, the MTS-C, successfully tracked missile launches in a test conducted by the Missile Defense Agency. The MTS-C added long-wave infrared to the short and medium infrared wavelength sensors used in previous versions, allowing the sensor to track "cold body" objects. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Broken plate with knife and fork on white background. (credit: Getty | PM Images) Brian Wansink, the Cornell nutrition researcher who was world-renowned for his massively popular, commonsense-style dieting studies before ultimately goingdown in flames in a beefy statistics scandal, has now retired—with a considerably slimmer publication record. JAMA’s editorial board retracted six studies co-authored by Wansink from its network of prestigious publications on Wednesday, September 19. The latest retractions bring Wansink’s total retraction count to 13, according to a database compiled by watchdog publication Retraction Watch. Fifteen of Wansink’s other studies have also been formally corrected. Amid this latest course in the scandal, Buzzfeed reported today that Wansink has retired from his position at Cornell, effective at the end of the current academic year. The announcement comes a day before Cornell planned to release its findings from an internal investigation into his work. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Sam Machkovech SEATTLE—"Echo Dot is the best-selling speaker ever." With that simple assertion, Amazon made no bones about its aspirations to keep making Echo-branded devices—and proceeded to unveil a significant number of voice-activated and connected-home products and technologies, with a mix of existing products and all-new ones. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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NHTSA A video of a Tesla Model 3 crashing is rarely cause for celebration. But today it is, because the videos are of recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) safety tests, which the littlest Tesla just aced. Whether it was front impact, side impact, or rollover testing, the Model 3 performed to a tee, earning the full five stars on each test. We probably should not act particularly shocked: both Tesla Model S and Model X also scored top marks in NCAP testing. What's more, the very layout of battery EVs affords them inherent advantages. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Senate's IT security team can't protect senators' and staffers' own devices and accounts. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wants to change that. (credit: Martin Falbisoner / Wikimedia Commons) Sen. Ron Wyden has been a squeaky wheel about the US Senate's weak security posture for a while. In April, the Oregon Democrat raised objections over the lax physical security measures for Senate staff—including ID badges that just have pictures of smart chips like those on other access cards used across government agencies, rather than actual chips, and provide no access controls. Now, as the November mid-term election approaches, Wyden has written a letter to Senate leadership decrying the lack of assistance that the Senate's own information security team can provide in protecting senators' accounts and devices from targeted attacks, even as evidence mounts that such attacks are being staged. According to Wyden, his office had discovered that "at least one major technology company" had recently detected targeted attacks against members of the Senate and their staffers—and that these attacks had apparently been staged by groups tied to foreign intelligence agencies. Microsoft reported thwarting spear-phishing attacks staged by a group tied to Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) against members of the Senate in August. And the US Senate's own systems have been targeted in the past, including a June 2017 effort by the same GRU group (known as "Fancy Bear," "Pawnstorm," and "Sofacy") that created a server spoofing the Senate's own Windows Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), according to a report from Trend Micro. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Vogtle unit 3. (credit: Georgia Power) Two nuclear reactors are under construction at Vogtle's nuclear power plant in Georgia, and they are a lonely pair in a stagnating US nuclear industry. Now, leaders of municipalities and utilities that are on the hook to buy electricity from Vogtle's new reactors are saying they want the project stopped to save their customers from having to shoulder the cost burden. The three major owners of the construction project are expected to vote on whether to keep it or cut losses in the coming days. Costs for Vogtle and its sister reactors at the Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina ballooned to well over their roughly $7 billion estimated cost, and when reactor-maker Westinghouse went bankrupt last year, the projects faced a choice: end construction and move on or keep on trucking in the hopes that further construction costs could be limited. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Bing on a mobile device showing the AMP-powered carousel and an AMP story served from Bing's cache. (credit: Microsoft) Microsoft's Bing search engine has started showing AMP pages to mobile searchers in the US. Pages using the proprietary tech will now be prominently displayed in search listings on the mobile website. Previously, Microsoft made limited use of AMP in some of its mobile apps but didn't use it on the Web. AMP ("Accelerated Mobile Pages") is a project spearheaded by Google to improve the performance and embeddability of mobile content. It imposes tight restrictions on the scripting that pages can use, and it performs special handling of embedded images and media. To do this, Google uses a number of proprietary extensions to HTML, and AMP content all gets cached. Google serves AMP pages from its own servers, Bing uses Microsoft's servers, and Cloudflare also has an AMP caching service. Though there is widespread acknowledgement that AMP is addressing real problems—the abundance of trackers, advertisements, and client-side scripts makes many webpages bandwidth-heavy and slow to load—many within the industry are unhappy at the proprietary, Google-controlled extensions, regarding them as anathema to the open Web. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: TechBargains) Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a set of deals on high-profile Nintendo Switch games at Walmart and Amazon, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Splatoon 2, Kirby Star Allies, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Mario Tennis Aces. All of them are 25 percent off, which works out to a $10-15 discount for each. Not every game up there will be to everybody's liking—the competitive online focus of Mario Tennis Aces is a far cry from cutesy puzzles of Captain Toad, for instance—and most Switch (or Wii U) owners have probably played at least a few of these already. But if you're in need of something new to play, all the above titles are at least worth checking out. Go have a look at our reviews if you're on the fence about one in particular. The catch here is that these discounts only apply to the physical copies of each game. That shouldn't be a dealbreaker for most—you'll use up less of the Switch's meager 32GB of internal storage—but it's worth noting that Nintendo just added the ability to share Switch downloads across consoles. Still, given that these games are going for full price in the Nintendo eShop and are tied for new lows here, waiting a couple days and dealing with a cartridge may be worth it. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Just one of the hundreds of "Guitar Hero TV" songs that will no longer be playable in a few months. A customer who bought Guitar Hero Live late last year has brought a proposed class-action lawsuit against Activision accusing the publisher of false advertising and other violations regarding the coming December shutdown of the game's online streaming "Guitar Hero TV" (GHTV) mode. Activision announced that shutdown back in June, and we noted at the time that the move will make 92 percent of the game's playable songs permanently inaccessible. In the federal lawsuit, filed this week in Los Angeles, plaintiff Robert Fishel argues Activision's marketing led him to believe the game would be "playable online indefinitely or, at least, for a reasonable length of time from the date of release." The lawsuit highlights Guitar Hero Live marketing that describes the Guitar Hero TV mode as "an always-on music video network... running 24-hours a day, seven days a week" with "a continuous broadcast of music videos" and "new videos continually added to the line-up." Marketing materials also promise that "you’ll be able to discover and play new songs all the time." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Video edited by Kevin Gallagher. Click here for transcript. (video link) During the last decade or so, there has been an incredible amount of money, time, and energy put into revitalizing the launch industry, both in the United States and around the world. Less than a decade ago, no company had ever developed an orbital rocket on its own and successfully launched a payload into orbit. SpaceX finally accomplished that feat in September 2008, opening the floodgates of private investment. The aerospace world today is radically different as a result, with more than 100 companies now seeking to build orbital rockets of varying size, scope, and capacity. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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