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Watch as SpaceX’s newest spacecraft attempts to escape a fake rocket

(NASA/Joel Kowsky)

On Sunday, SpaceX is launching one of its last big flight tests for NASA, one that could ultimately pave the way for the company to fly people to space later this year. For this flight, SpaceX will test out the emergency escape system on its new passenger spacecraft — and will probably destroy a Falcon 9 rocket in the process.

The vehicle that SpaceX is testing is its new Crew Dragon capsule, a passenger spacecraft the company has been developing for NASA as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew program. Before NASA will let its astronauts fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the agency wants to know that the vehicle can keep people safe in the unlikely event of an emergency. That’s what this weekend’s test, known as an in-flight abort test, is...

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7 new trailers you should watch this week

Image: Sony Pictures

With all the noise around how there’ll probably never be a second season of Watchmen this week, I figured I should finally get around to writing about Watchmen since it’s been weeks since it wrapped up.

There was a ton I liked about the series: the show within a show; the oddball, barely explained side characters; the way it reframes some of the graphic novel’s biggest ideas. The Hooded Justice episode, in particular, was worth watching the entire season for. That hour is perhaps a better encapsulation of the show than the entirety of the show, and it feels so true to the book that it hardly seems like it wasn’t in there in the first place.

I did find the series’ structure a little frustrating, though. Very little actually happens during...

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Lenovo is building another standalone VR headset

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Lenovo hasn’t made the best bets in virtual reality so far, but it seems like the company’s about to try again — according to a new FCC filing for the “Lenovo VR3030S,” which company docs identify as an upcoming standalone VR headset.

Standalone means that like Lenovo’s previous Mirage Solo or the Oculus Quest, it shouldn’t require you to plug in a phone or PC, because the processing power is built right in. But where the ill-fated Mirage Solo relied on Google’s effectively defunct Daydream VR platform, a new headset will presumably run on a different one: perhaps Valve’s Steam VR, Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality, or maybe even Facebook’s Oculus?

Speaking of Lenovo’s unlucky bets in virtual reality, it’s a little-known fact that the...

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No, the EU isn’t asking Apple to kill the Lightning cable

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

You might have read headlines today about how the EU is looking to force Apple to ditch the Lightning cable. That’s not really true.

Since 2009, the European Commission has been trying to convince tech companies to adopt a single wall charger instead of opting for a proprietary method, one that can power any and all portable devices. And now, following a recent statement by the Commission at Parliament that calls for stricter enforcement on the matter — possibly to the point of regulation — a few publications have been erroneously convinced that this action could lead to Apple’s Lightning port and cable disappearing once and for all, and forcing Apple to adopt USB-C across the board. But that’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of...

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It’s not just you: Google added annoying icons to search on desktop

Google : Illustration Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Google added tiny favicon icons to its search results this week for some reason, creating more clutter in what used to be a clean interface, and seemingly without actually improving the results or the user experience. The company says it’s part of a plan to make clearer where information is coming from, but how?

To give you an idea of how minimal the change is, here’s what it looked like when Google made the same tweak last year to the browsing experience on phones:

In my Chrome desktop browser, it feels like an aggravating, unnecessary change that doesn’t actually help the user determine how good, bad, or reputable an actual search result might be. Yes, ads are still clearly marked with the word “ad,” which is a good...

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YouTuber turns the GameCube Switch Joy-Cons of our dreams into reality

For practically as long as the Nintendo Switch and its removable Joy-Con controllers has existed, fans have been mocking up and wishing for Joy-Con-style GameCube controllers to use with the portable console. But hardware mod YouTuber Shank did more than just dream: he spent months turning the idea into reality, combining Joy-Con internals with original GameCube hardware to build the ultimate Switch accessory.

For the best look at the entire modification process, you should check out the full video on the Shank Mod YouTube channel, which gives a detailed and well-explained breakdown of the process.

The basic idea is simple. To start, Shank took original GameCube WaveBird controller shells, and...

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Valve says it’s ‘absolutely not working’ on Left 4 Dead 3

Valve Valve

Valve has put an end to rumors about Left 4 Dead 3 being in development, by stating that the studio hasn’t been working on it for years.

“We’ve seen rumors to this effect for the last couple of months,” Valve said in a statement to IGN. “We did briefly explore some Left 4 Dead next gen opportunities a few years ago. But we are absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven’t for years.”

Earlier today, Alvin Wang Graylin, president of HTC Vive in China, posted images of some slides from a recent presentation to Twitter. One of the slides, titled “2020 VR Trends,” had a bullet point stating that “Valve HL Alyx/L4D3 will drive consumer and AAA studio interest.” The mention of “L4D3” was seen by some as confirmation that HTC...

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Microsoft puts the pressure on Slack with first TV ad for Microsoft Te

Microsoft is unveiling its first TV commercial for Microsoft Teams this weekend. A 30-second ad will air during Sunday’s NFL playoffs, and will also be shown in the UK, France, and Germany next month. Dubbed “The Power of Teams,” the ad opens with boring business meetings, flip charts, ancient speaker phones, and slidedecks printed on paper before quickly moving on to Teams. Microsoft has been aligning its Teams software as the hub for the future of its Office suite, and this ad plays into that.

This TV commercial, which also includes Microsoft’s latest Surface hardware, is obviously designed to take on Slack in markets that may consider the rival group chat software over Microsoft’s alternative. Microsoft has successfully chased and o...

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Moog’s new synth promises big bass in a pint-sized machine

Image: Moog

Moog has officially announced a new synth called Subsequent 25 at this year’s NAMM in Anaheim, California. Replacing the adored Sub Phatty synth, Moog’s made several tweaks with the Subsequent 25 that make it capable of delivering even more powerful bass and thicker leads than its predecessor.

The Subsequent 25 is Moog’s most compact keyboard synthesizer, which the company says makes it a fit for both stage and studio. Some will balk at the synth’s teeny size (the entire thing is just over 20 inches long!), but there’s appeal if you’re looking for that classic, beefy Moog sound in a pint-sized footprint.

Building upon the success of the Subsequent 37 and Sub Phatty, the Subsequent 25 is a two-note paraphonic analog synth that comes with...

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Netflix will nearly double the number of French language originals

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Netflix today signaled a significant new investment in France with the opening of its new Paris office and a content roadmap that will see the streaming service nearly double the number of French language originals it has produced so far. Since 2014, Netflix has produced 24 productions in French, including six films and nine television series. But the new plan is to add 20 new productions, and to grow its new corporate presence in Paris consisting of 40 employees to one nearly three times the size.

Netflix is doing similar expansions across the globe, including elsewhere in Europe and in South America. The company has plans to open offices in Germany and Italy, and last year it opened a large office in Mexico City. It also has offices...

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