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Rocket Report: SpaceX goes vertical, smallsat launch dates slip
Welcome to Edition 2.27 of the Rocket Report! We're back after a lengthy holiday break, refueled and ready for a new year. 2020 promises to be a huge year in the launch industry, with the potential for several dedicated smallsat rockets taking flight for the first time, as well as the likelihood of large tallies in China, the United States,…

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Forget Top Gun: Maverick—let’s settle Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf once and for all
In June 2020, the nostalgia-industrial complex will pump out , which will undoubtedly feature hotshot pilot Tom Cruise slaughtering a few dozen foreigners in order to complete his character arc. Cruise may do the hardest salute you've ever seen, but the real star of could just as easily be his F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet.

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Deadly fungus became resistant to all existing drugs in 3 unlinked US patients
A deadly fungal pathogen developed the ability to resist all existing antifungal drugs on three separate occasions in the United States, according to a new report. The fungus, , was already classified as an "urgent threat" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the emergence of so called "pan-resistant" strains raises additional concern, according to the report's authors,…

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Here’s what a $300 set of official, sapphire-loaded D&D dice looks like
On the occasion of Dungeons & Dragons' 45th anniversary this November, series handlers Wizards of the Coast celebrated by announcing a rarity from the company: official, limited, super-pricey dice. Are you as old as, or older than, D&D? Does that make you feel so allegiant to the game that you'd like to own a gem-infused 20-sided die, with a set…

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A young computer engineer tries to solve a mystery in first teaser for Devs
Something sinister is afoot as a young computer engineer investigates a mysterious disappearance at a Silicon Valley quantum computing company in , a forthcoming sci-fi miniseries created by Alex Garland (). The first teaser for the FX/Hulu miniseries just dropped, in conjunction with Garland's appearance at the Television Critics Association (TCA) meeting.

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New Bluetooth standard copies best features of Apple, Qualcomm’s proprietary tech
Bluetooth SIG, the industry group that maintains the Bluetooth wireless communications standard used in numerous devices, announced a major update to the standard called Bluetooth LE Audio this week. Bluetooth SIG previously introduced Bluetooth LE with a focus on power efficiency, but that emphasized improvements for low-bandwidth devices. Even though audio is one of the most common uses of Bluetooth,…

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Trump plans to “modernize” environmental impact reports
Today, the Trump administration announced a major overhaul to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is the legislation that requires the consideration of the environmental impacts of projects that the federal government is involved with. In an effort to limit the consideration of environmental impacts, the new rules will call for completion of environmental analyses on a…

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Misleading political ads are the user’s problem to avoid, Facebook says
Following months of criticism for its decision to allow candidates for political office to tell outright lies in advertising, Facebook is trying to correct course not by changing advertiser behavior but by telling users to opt out of being shown certain ads. Facebook today announced a change to its political ad system that will "expand transparency.

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US Government-funded Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware
An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can't be removed without making the device cease to work, researchers reported on Thursday. The UMX U686CL is provided by Virgin Mobile's Assurance Wireless program. Assurance Wireless is an offshoot of the Lifeline Assistance program, a Federal Communications Commissions plan that makes free or…