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The Morning After: Finally, Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed spaceflight

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After oh so many delays, training up its founder, Sir Richard Branson, and some delightful, sometimes petty, banter with Blue Origin (love those “largest windows in space” claims), Virgin Galactic has made it into space.

Or at least, it did, depending on who you ask. Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight is just days away, and it’s pointed out that Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo didn’t’ really fly in space. The craft reached an altitude of ‘just’ 53.4 miles. However, the Kármán line (the formal demarcation for space) is 62 miles.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo completes Unity 22 spaceflight

Virgin Galactic

It’s a fair point, even if it comes across a little like sour grapes. While not quite crossing over that line, the mission was to evaluate the SpaceShipTwo’s cabin environment, seat comfort and the overall experience it will offer customers. Presumably, this was where Sir Branson’s expertise in astrophysics with his myriad companies came to the fore. Two additional test flights are set to launch before Virgin Galactic begins offering paid flights next year.

Watch Virgin Galactic’s successful flight right here.

— Mat Smith

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The sting operation wasn’t just limited to a chat app.

An illustration picture shows the ANoM logo displayed on the screen of an smartphone on june 8, 2021 in Paris. - Some 250 people were arrested in Sweden and Finland in the global sting on organised crime, authorities said on June 8, 2021, using phones planted by the US FBI, law enforcement officers were able to read the messages of global underworld figures in around 100 countries as they plotted drug deals, arms transfers and gangland hits on the compromised ANOM devices. (Photo by Olivier MORIN / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images

The phones the FBI sold to crooks for a sting operation weren’t just running a custom messaging app — it appears the operating system itself was customized for the sting. Motherboard obtained one of the “Anom” phones — a modified Pixel 4a underneath it all — and its mysterious ArcaneOS has a number of customizations you wouldn’t necessarily expect, even for a privacy-oriented phone.

There’s no app store, and you can’t toggle location tracking. You can’t flash the device with third-party firmware to make it behave more like normal phones, either — the bootloader is locked, even though the startup screen tells you the device has been “modified.”

For nefarious types you’d expect to see in Mission Impossible movies, less real-life, there’s a hidden chat app (accessed through the “calculator” when it worked) and PIN scrambling. There’s also a wipe code feature that lets you erase a phone from the lock screen — although it won’t explode. Continue reading.

You’ll only see shared media a single time before it vanishes.

After releasing the feature on Android last month, WhatsApp is debuting self-erasing media and texts on iOS, via a new beta release. If you sign up for the beta version 2.21.140.9 on Testflight, you’ll be able to send photos and videos that self-destruct as soon as they’re viewed and dismissed. Users with access to the “view once” feature will see a dedicated button resembling a timer in the caption input field.

Unlike WhatsApp’s disappearing messages, which delete after seven days, photos and videos sent using view-once mode vanish immediately after you close them. That said, there’s nothing stopping users from taking screenshots of media, and you won’t be notified if a recipient has done so. Some apps, like Snapchat, make this harder to do or inform the user when screenshots are snapped. Continue reading.

It’s also coming to previous-gen systems, PC and Stadia.

Kylian Mbappe in 'FIFA 22'

EA Sports

While English fans might not want to think about football for a bit, FIFA 22 is, predictably, on its way, and its centerpiece is a new HyperMotion system. This will apparently offer more realistic animation and gameplay when you game on a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S or Google Stadia. The technology uses machine learning to produce animations in real-time, leading to more “organic” movement.

The game is also coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC (via Origin and Steam), while FIFA 22 Legacy Edition is coming to the Nintendo Switch, although EA didn’t outline differences. Presumably, it’ll be a less graphically intense version of the game. EA has hinted at a “complete” revamp of the goalkeeper system, a new club creation experience in Career Mode and “reimagined” Volta Football. Continue reading.

The semi-autonomous upgrade has been in the works for years.

Tesla is rolling out FSD beta version 9 to Early Access Program users, and while it’s still not full autonomy, it does enable numerous Autopilot driver assists, including lane changes and turns. You’ll also get revamped visualizations that offer “additional surrounding information.”

The update also references a recently activated feature that uses the cabin camera to make sure you’re paying attention while Autopilot is engaged. Musk also urged beta testers to be “paranoid” and stay prepared to take the wheel at a moment’s notice. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more…

How NASA selected the first Lunar Rover to scoot across the moon

Biden’s wide-ranging executive order covers Big Tech, net neutrality and more

Virgin Galactic launches competition to win a ticket into space

‘Black Widow’ made $60 million from Disney+ viewers during its opening weekend

An iPad mini redesign still rumored for this fall

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-virgin-galactic-finally-completes-its-first-crewed-spaceflight-111518745.html?src=rss

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

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The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

Published

on

The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Esports

Akshan buffed again in today’s League 11.15 micropatch due to ‘very low win rate’

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Akshan was buffed just one day after his League of Legends debut—and it seems like that wasn’t enough.

Lead game designer Jeevun “Jag” Sidhu discussed a second Akshan buff today, detailing the precise changes that are now live with an 11.15 micropatch. And due to the new champion’s “very low win rate,” he’s getting some more love.

“We were very cautious of his revive mechanic in terms of release balance,” Jag said. “That said, he’s still at a very low win rate and so may have been too conservative.”

In an attempt to increase the mid laner’s impact, Riot is increasing Akshan’s attack speed per level from 2.5 percent to four percent. His Avengerang’s (Q) damage to minions is also being increased at later levels, bumping up from 40 to 70 percent to 40 to 90 percent.

Akshan is intended to fall off during the later stages of a match, like AD assassins often do. But it seems his effectiveness steeply declines as the match goes on. The Q buff should help him clear waves more efficiently, allowing him to splitpush better after the laning phase. The attack speed buff should also greatly increase his late-game damage output.

The Rogue Sentinel was initially buffed in a July 23 micropatch that targeted his base health, base AD, and Q cooldown. While the devs hoped his win rate would increase by roughly two percent, it seems like he’s still underperforming. Akshan mid is sitting at a low 39.2-percent win rate in Platinum ranks and above, according to Champion.gg.

A new champion’s win rate often starts off low as players learn their mechanics and abilities. Akshan’s win rate should improve over time, but the devs will reassess his game impact in the next patch.


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Source: https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/news/akshan-buffed-again-in-todays-league-11-15-micropatch-due-to-very-low-win-rate

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Legends of Runeterra Announces 10th Region, 2021 Roadmap

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Bandle City is the 10th region in Legends of Runeterra

Bandle City is the 10th region in Legends of Runeterra / Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Riot Games finally announced the long-awaited 10th region for Legends of Runeterra on Tuesday, alongside a roadmap for what’s to come in the rest of 2021.

Players have known for a while now that Runeterra is missing its 10th and final region, and there has been plenty of lively debate on which one it’ll be. Now, two weeks before the next expansion is set to release, Riot settled the question with a video introducing the new region, Bandle City, and what they have planned for the rest of the year.

In the video, Riot confirmed the next expansion will feature Bandle City and is called “Beyond the Bandlewood.” The expansion is set to release in two weeks’ time, during Patch 2.14.0 in August.

This decision seems to be great news for some players and disappointing for others. Riot reassured players that even though Ixtal and the Void won’t be added to Runeterra, every champion from League of Legends will be added to the game and find a home in the region that makes the most sense for them.

Legends of Runeterra release schedule

Release schedule for next expansion / Photo courtesy of Riot Games

The new expansion will feature four total releases, including a special release in November alongside “a major PvE event unlike anything we’ve tried before.” The two releases following that will occur in December and February of next year.

Aside from the expansion, Riot announced a new, upgraded Lab of Legends mode called The Saltwater Scourge, which takes players on a RPG-like journey ending in a boss battle with Gangplank. This is Runeterra’s most expansive PvE mode yet, and it’s already live and available for all players to try out as of Patch 2.13.0.

Legends of Runeterra Lab of Legends The Saltwater Scourge

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

A more detailed roadmap for the rest of 2021 also outlines the releases and events to come, including an expansion event pass in August, the Legends of Runeterra World Championships in September, and Battle Academia skins in October.

Whether you’re a competitive player or a casual player who wants to enjoy PvE, it seems Legends of Runeterra has something in store for everyone. Keep on the lookout for teasers of the next set, and an upcoming update on balance patches.

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Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/legends-of-runeterra-announces-10th-region-2021-roadmap-01fbqcfdqfk5?utm_source=RSS

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