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Wizards Unite is a bloated, slow, Harry Potter-ified Pokémon Go
Further ReadingThrowing cold water on some of ’s hottest takesThree years ago, Nintendo and Niantic released Pokémon Go, and the resulting game became an instant cultural phenomenon on hundreds of millions of mobile phones. In retrospect, the formula seems simple enough: combine a beloved children's series with a wander-and-collect-with-your-phone gameplay hook, and everyone will fall in love, right?

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Google Hardware quits the tablet business, again
Google and tablets just don't mix. The company tried over and over again to make Android tablets work, peaking with the 2013 Nexus 7 and ending with the Pixel C in 2015. After a three-year hiatus from the market, Google took a second swing at tablets with Chrome OS and the Pixel Slate.

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Rocket Report: Falcon Heavy ready to fly, Stratolaunch plane put up for sale
Welcome to Edition 2.04 of the Rocket Report! We've got some up-to-the-minute news this week, with updated launch dates for NASA's commercial crew missions, BE-7 rocket engine tests, and a Falcon Heavy flight early next week. Thanks to everyone for their great contributions—nearly all of this week's content came from your tips.

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Potent Firefox 0-day used to install undetected backdoors on Macs
Hackers exploited a pair of potent zero-day vulnerabilities in Firefox to infect Mac users with a largely undetected backdoor, according to accounts pieced together from multiple people. Mozilla released an update on Tuesday that fixed a code-execution vulnerability in a JavaScript programming method known as Array.pop. On Thursday, Mozilla issued a second patch fixing a privilege-escalation flaw that allowed code…

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Apple introduces a recall program for some MacBook Pro laptops with faulty batteries
Today, Apple sent out a press release and published a customer support document announcing a new voluntary recall-and-replace program for certain MacBook Pro models that contain batteries that may overheat, and which may have the potential to be a fire risk. Further ReadingNew model, two-year-old processor: The 2015 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro reviewedThe recall program is limited to certain 15-inch…

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At House hearing, witnesses for Trump admin defend fuel economy rollback
The Trump administration has been trying to roll back Obama-era fuel-economy standards for passenger vehicles out to model year 2025. But the state of California and its allies have been fighting this rollback in every venue possible. Further Reading17 automakers tell Trump that fuel economy rollback needs to include CaliforniaToday, energy and commerce subcommittees from the House of Representatives held…

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Ars on your lunch break: There’s hope, and we’ll all be fine… probably
Today we’re presenting the fourth and final installment of my conversation with Naval Ravikant about existential risks. This interview first appeared in March as two back-to-back episodes of the After On Podcast (which features fifty unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists). Ravikant is one of tech’s most successful angel investors and the founder of multiple startups—including seed-stage investment…

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EA: Loot boxes actually “surprise mechanics” that are “ethical and fun”
Representatives from EA and Epic Games spoke in front of a UK parliamentary panel Wednesday (transcript). They were there to defend the game industry against charges of addictive game mechanics and encouragement of gambling via loot boxes. But at least one of those representatives took issue with the basic premise that randomized item purchases should be labeled as "loot boxes"…

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One legacy of Carl Sagan may take flight next week—a working solar sail
As early as next Monday night, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch a cluster of 24 satellites for the US Air Force. Known as the Space Test Program-2 mission, the rocket will deposit its payloads into three different orbits. Perhaps the most intriguing satellite will be dropped off at the second stop—a circular orbit 720km above the Earth's surface.