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17Jun/180

A Stephen Hawking musical tribute was beamed directly at a black hole

Hawking was widely known for his work on black holes. He theorized that the phenomena emit a type of thermal radiation, which became known as "Hawking radiation." Hawking died in March at the age of 76.

Vangelis, who wrote music for Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire as well as the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage scientific docuseries, crafted the six-minute tribute piece; it features a message of peace and hope from Hawking. The ESA beamed the music towards the 1A 0620–00 black hole from its ground station in Spain. The black hole is around 3,500 light years away and "lives in a binary system with an orange dwarf star." When it eventually gets there, millennia from now, Vangelis' piece "will be frozen in by the event horizon," said Professor Günther Hasinger, ESA's director of science. Those attending the memorial also received a copy of the music.

"This is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father's presence on this planet, his wish to go into space, and his explorations of the universe in his mind," Hawking's daughter Lucy said.

While the music and Hawking's voice will reach a distant solar system, on Earth his ashes have strong scientific company. They were laid to rest next to the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin in Scientists' Corner, a part of Westminster Abbey dedicated to those who made significant breakthroughs. The memorial stone on his grave includes his equation that describes the entropy of a black hole, along with an image of one and an inscription reading, "Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/stephen-hawking-voice-music-tribute-black-hole-esa/

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17Jun/180

Leica C-Lux brings style to long-zoom compact cameras

The similarity promises some solid performance, too, with 49-point fast autofocus, continuous shooting at 10 frames per second and 4K videos at up to 100Mbps (albeit with a 15-minute time limit). You can also rely on a 2.33-megapixel electronic viewfinder as well as Bluetooth and WiFi to transfer your photos.

Not surprisingly, you'll be paying a stiff premium for the looks and Leica's signature red dot. The C-Lux will cost you $1,050 when it arrives in mid-July, or a solid $250 more than the Lumix. That's utter overkill if you're purely interested in functionality, but it might be tantalizing if you're determined to get an all-purpose camera that stands out in a sea of drabness.

Leica C-Lux in Midnight Blue

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/leica-c-lux/

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17Jun/180

Amazon and Microsoft back campaign against California privacy act

The California Consumer Privacy Act aims to give California residents the right to know what kind of data companies have on them and to tell those companies not to sell their personal info. Tech companies believe that it could ruin the way they develop their products and do business. A spokesperson for Amazon told The Verge, for instance: "While we share the initiative's overarching goal of protecting consumer privacy, we are concerned by unworkable requirements that would hinder our ability to innovate on behalf of our customers."

Committee to Protect California Jobs spokesperson Steven Maviglio echoed that in a statement to Govtech. He said that bill author Alastair Mactaggart didn't consider the "workability" of his proposal and that it's nigh impossible for tech giants to comply with it. "[A]nyone who orders anything from Amazon can request where their information went, and that can not only overwhelm a large company like Amazon but also smaller ones too," the spokesperson explained. Microsoft also released a statement that pretty much said the same thing: "We believe the California measure could have unintended consequences for both businesses and consumers and that there is a better way to give consumers the privacy rights they deserve."

So far, the Californians for Consumer Privacy Act has already collected 637,000 signatures. Authorities have to be able to verify 402,468 signatures for the proposal to make it to the November ballot -- we'll know for sure after the California Secretary of State announces the result on June 25th. Even if it does make its way to the ballot, the opposition now has a lot of money to spend on campaigns to fight its approval. The Committee to Protect California Jobs, for one, plans to make sure citizens know about the potential impact it may have on jobs in the state if companies choose to up and leave for another HQ.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/amazon-microsoft-uber-against-california-privacy-act/

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17Jun/180

‘Fortnite’ marks World Cup with stadium and goal scoring challenges

You didn't think Epic Games would let a sporting event as momentous as the World Cup go by without a Fortnite tie-in, did you? Sure enough, the developer has made a slew of updates to mark the beautiful game's most important tournament. There's now a hard-to-miss stadium map, and your weekly challenges now include scoring goals on fields across the island. And naturally, there's plenty of themed items to buy with your spare V-Bucks.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/fortnite-world-cup-event/

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17Jun/180

Tesla is now making 3,500 Model 3 cars per week

Tesla has been scrambling to make its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week by July, and it appears to be making good progress... although it also has a long way to go. Electrek has obtained a company-wide email from Elon Musk indicating that Tesla is now reliably producing "above 500" vehicles per day, or about 3,500 per week. Some portions of the line are "almost at 700" per day, he added. In a tweet, Musk also noted that Tesla had assembled its first performance-oriented dual motor model.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/tesla-is-now-making-3-500-model-3-cars-per-week/

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17Jun/180

Silk Road creator’s alleged ally extradited to the US

Clark had his first hearing on June 15th. If found guilty, he faces a minimum 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life behind bars. To date, Clark has denied the charges.

If you believe accusations, Clark played a central role in Silk Road's operations. He provided advice on security and infrastructure, helped hire programmers, discussed service rules and got involved in sales promotions. He reportedly used the threat of violence to keep out law enforcement, and created a "cover story" to make it look like Ulbricht had sold Silk Road to someone else. Suffice it to say that prosecutors have a strong incentive to land a conviction -- this would send a signal to anyone doling out advice to dark web groups.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/16/silk-road-creators-key-ally-extradited-to-the-us/

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17Jun/180

Watch a Tesla Model X zoom inside a Boring Company tunnel

Someday, The Boring Company's tunnels could become a busy network of passenger-carrying shuttles, private vehicles and bicycles trying to dodge traffic. But right now, its existing tunnel under LA is pretty ahem boring -- save for a short moment last week when the company tested its vehicle transportation platform using a Tesla, that is. Sure, the event wasn't nearly as exciting as the time SpaceX sent Elon Musk's cherry-colored Roadster to space, but it still shows how a platform running on the tunnel's tracks would ferry private vehicles from one point to another.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/17/boring-company-tunnel-model-x/

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17Jun/180

Jaguar breaks the world’s electric boat speed record

The companies are shy about the exact technology in the vessel, but it's drawing on the same technology Jaguar and Williams use in Formula E. Aerodynamics clearly played a part as well -- the single-seater design is optimized for speed.

You probably won't travel that quickly in an EV watercraft in the near future, then. However, this could foster electric boating if and when the technology filters down to seacraft you can actually buy. And crucially, this is just the start of the collaboration. The companies are hoping for more powerful boats in the future, so these seemingly modest records might not last for much longer.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/17/jaguar-breaks-electric-boat-world-record/

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16Jun/180

‘Arca’s Path’ is the VR puzzle game I’ve been waiting for

The high-tech marble labyrinth is one of the most relaxing VR experiences I've had. When my demo in publisher Rebellion's hotel suite at E3 began, I thought it was a little weird that the game didn't use a traditional input method.

Then, once I started playing, I realized that was beside the point. Instead of directly controlling the hexagonal "ball," I was guiding it around a pastel obstacle course via a cursor and the PlayStation VR's head tracking. The further in front of the ball I moved the cursor, the faster the ball would move. Stopping was as simple as putting the cursor directly underneath the ball.

Getting around feels incredibly natural, too. There aren't any tutorials, but thanks to Arca's Path's physics system and minimalist approach to UI (there wasn't a HUD or any sort of pop-up during my demo), the game doesn't need them.

Typically in these sorts of games I oversteer and then overcorrect if I'm using a gamepad. But once I became accustomed to making slow, subtle movements with my head rather than quick jerks, maneuvering around the painterly geometric lanes was almost second nature.

The two courses I played were shades of pink and green, rife with narrow, walled paths in addition to wider circular platforms filled with angular flora. In motion, it reminded me a lot of PS4's Tearaway Unfolded, which implemented a beautiful, construction-paper-like motif for its visual style. All the while, soothing beats from legendary electronic music label Ninja Tune played in the background.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/15/arcas-path-psvr-hands-on/

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16Jun/180

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ replaces its showrunners (again)

"We've made some producer changes at Star Trek: Discovery. The series continues under the creative vision and leadership of executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman," CBS said in a statement. "Discovery remains on course for season two in 2019 with new and continuing stories that build on its successful premiere season."

Berg and Harberts departed over "leadership and operational issues" and not for creative reasons, according to the Hollywood Reporter (THR). The showrunners had reportedly become abusive, and some writers became uncomfortable working on the series and threatened to file HR complaints, according to an unnamed source. Discovery was also reportedly well over budget.

The news isn't all bad. Kurtzman will give the show some much needed stability, and CBS brass is reportedly pleased with the rough cuts and scripts they've seen so far. On its launch last year, Discovery gave CBS' All Access paid streaming service a much-needed boost, and generally received good reviews. It should return in 2019 with the focus on a new character, Captain Christopher Pike (James T. Kirk's predecessor), played by Anson Mount.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/15/star-trek-discovery-replaces-showrunners-again/

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