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2022 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - 9 hours 16 min ago
The I.D. Buzz was one of the most widely loved concepts we've seen in years, but it turns out it's more than just a pretty face. It's a driver, and we've taken it for a spin.

Google and UC Berkeley to create movie from eclipse images

BBC Technology News - 9 hours 30 min ago
The pictures of the total solar eclipse will also be used to study the Sun's outermost atmosphere.

Mass Effect: Andromeda officially shuts down its single-player updates

Ars Technica - 10 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge / Pretend that planet is Mass Effect: Andromeda's single-player DLC, then look at it wistfully, turn around, and walk away. (credit: Bioware)

Anybody who hoped the troubled Bioware game Mass Effect: Andromeda would get some more single-player content should probably sit down. The game developer chose to deliver bad news to fans on Saturday evening via its official blog, confirming that it would not create any more "single-player or in-game story content" for the game.

If you're anxious to see the game's loose plot threads receive any resolution, you'll have to turn to other means. The game's existing 1.1 patch, which went live nearly three weeks ago, marked the end of any single-player changes, updates, or patches. Multiplayer modes will receive more "story-based APEX missions," Bioware says, and other stories, including those of the fate of the quarian ark, will be shuffled into "our upcoming comics and novels."

This confirms a DLC cancellation rumor dug up by Kotaku back in June. According to Kotaku's sources, EA had already bailed on plans for either add-on DLC or a full-fledged Andromeda 2 sequel after the game's lukewarm critical and commercial performance.

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Amazon was selling Echo Dots for the low, low price of $0 - CNET - News - 13 hours 12 sec ago
For a short window on Friday, Amazon appeared to be giving away these devices through an unadvertised promotion. Most orders have since been canceled.

Nebula Mars Portable Cinema review - CNET - Reviews - August 19, 2017 - 10:17pm
This versatile Android-powered, lunch box-size projector can last up to 3 hours away from an outlet and is a lot of fun to use despite some software issues.

Solar eclipse: Desperate brands leap on the sunny side - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 8:56pm
Commentary: So many brands squeezing their products into the solar eclipse frenzy, hoping to make a buck. But a small brand does something delightful.

Google brings video previews to search results on phones - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 8:27pm
In Google's Android app and in Chrome for Android, you'll now have an idea of what's in a clip before you bother playing it.

Four book series that are shaping the future of science fiction on television

Ars Technica - August 19, 2017 - 8:20pm

Enlarge (credit: Who Fears Death)

If recent Hollywood deals are any indication, science fiction on TV is about to get even more interesting and complex. The trend started with the surprising announcement in late 2016 that Lin Manuel-Miranda's next project—after completing his run on Hamilton and writing the music for Moana—would be to adapt Patrick Rothfuss' cult fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle for TV and film. Just in the past two months, three more gamechanging options were announced: HBO will adapt Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death, award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay is working on a TV adaptation of Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy, and TNT has snapped up N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy. All of these books represented major shifts for the science fiction genre and, until recently, would probably have been considered unfilmable.

To understand the magnitude of this change, consider the Xenogenesis trilogy. Octavia Butler published these cerebral alien invasion novels in the 1980s, shortly before she became the first science fiction author ever to win a prestigious MacArthur "genius grant." The books follow three generations of people after an advanced alien civilization of three-gendered, tentacle-covered creatures has created hybrid children with the dying, post-nuclear remnants of humanity. It's a multi-layered story about colonialism and survival, and it includes surreal scenes in which we enter the minds of aliens to experience their unique sensorium. Though critically acclaimed and widely read, the novels never made it to the screen.

The three novels in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series are being adapted by director Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time and Selma).

One issue was pragmatic. Imagining these novels coming to life without a James Cameron-level budget is hard. Today, however, special effects are cheaper than ever. A clever combination of practical effects and CGI could render Butler's aliens and their biotech spaceships.

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For speakers or headphones, how much bass is enough? - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 7:07pm
Bass is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures for audiophiles.

Here’s a pint-size speaker with a big sound - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 6:07pm
The little Vanatoo Transparent Zero speaker has a big heart, says the Audiophiliac.

NASA’s Voyagers: 35 years of inspiration [Update: Now it’s 40]

Ars Technica - August 19, 2017 - 6:00pm

(credit: National Geographic)

This weekend, NASA's historic Voyager spacecrafts celebrate their 40th year in space. The missions have given humanity many awe-inspiring discoveries in those four decades, and Voyager 1 and 2 have inspired infinite further initiatives or related works, too (such as a great new documentary debuting this week). To celebrate the occasion, we're resurfacing this appreciation from 2012 that details another thing Voyager forever inspired: our science editor.

August 20, 1977 turned out to be a before-and-after moment for me—and probably a lot of other people as well. None of us knew it at the time, though, since the launch of Voyager 2 (followed a few weeks later by Voyager 1) wasn't obviously a big deal to most people. In fact, I wouldn't fully appreciate the change until sometime in 1980.

To understand why, a bit of history is in order. NASA had been sending probes to other planets, like the Mariner and Pioneer series, since the 1960s. However, even the best technology of the time was pretty limited in terms of what it could do remotely. And for most of that time, they were badly overshadowed by manned exploration, first the Apollo missions and Skylab, and later the planning for the space shuttle. In fact, even as the Voyagers flew past Jupiter, I seem to recall more attention being paid to the impending de-orbit of Skylab, which scattered charred pieces of itself over Australia later that year.

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Want more women in tech at your company? Make it a focus - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 5:22pm
Commentary: The design thinking process behind tech development should be applied to diversity efforts, says one of Intuit's top technologists.

After bouncing around the Web, Daily Stormer lands a new CDN provider

Ars Technica - August 19, 2017 - 4:59pm

Enlarge (credit: CommScope)

This article originally appeared on ProPublica on August 18, 2017.

The neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer was back online Friday with help from a small company whose founder said he wanted to defend free speech and raise the commercial profile of his new venture.

The Daily Stormer was dumped by several Internet service providers this week after it posted a story mocking the appearance of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed last Saturday in Charlottesville. By mid-week, the site was accessible only through what is known as the dark web, a corner of the Internet that is not easily accessible to ordinary users.

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'The Defenders' review: A Marvel-Netflix series you’ll actually want to finish - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 3:37pm
Four superheroes walk into a restaurant and the rest is an unexpected joy.

Nidhogg 2 review: Violent, disgusting, and hilariously fun

Ars Technica - August 19, 2017 - 3:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Messhof)

Of all the fighting video games I imagined might ever get sequels, Nidhogg was pretty low on my wishlist. The 2014 sword-duel game was a masterwork of simplicity, and it benefited from looking and playing like something from an early '80s home console. Two-button controls. Minuscule color palettes. A simple directive to stab and run. I had seen too many zillions-of-buttons, zillions-of-commands fighting games, and Nidhogg, even more than its one-button contemporary Divekick, served as a delightful palate cleanser.

When its sequel was announced last year, fans—including myself—wondered what the heck was going on. Where was the refreshing simplicity? What was up with these new weapons? Why did the fighters transform into grotesque, mutated Homer Simpsons?

Once I went hands-on with Nidhogg 2 last December, I instantly changed my tune. That love has only grown since playing its preview builds in bits and pieces—and it's grown more since getting the final version. Nidhogg 2 is everything a great sequel should be: an opportunity to build on a solid foundation, a successful gamble on updated mechanics, and a better game for fans both old and new.

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How to photograph the eclipse with your phone - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 3:00pm
Not sure how to go about shooting photos of the solar eclipse? We got you.

In a great year for space music, Quindar’s Hip Mobility most puts us in orbit

Ars Technica - August 19, 2017 - 2:00pm

Shawn Brackbill/Courtesy of the artist

It has been a great 12 months for space music, but to our ears much of this burgeoning scene doesn't quite sound spacey. The Sufjan Stevens-led Planetarium is a modern Holst-ian work, more at home in the concert hall than the Milky Way (and we’d take Gustav’s “Mars” over Sufjan’s). Ennio Morricone’s newly reissued SPACE: 1999 is free-form jazz that sounds appropriate for a sci-fi horror set in the stars, but it doesn’t conjure up images of the galaxy if you close your eyes and listen. And clipping’s Hugo-nominated Splendor & Misery is already an overlooked artistic masterpiece, but its triumph is in storytelling and not necessarily in being some aural representation of interstellar happenings.

Close your eyes and picture “space,” and many of us likely have similar visions. Yet ask what space sounds like, and there’s no such unified response... at least there wasn’t.

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The movies we had to leave before the end - CNET - News - August 19, 2017 - 2:00pm
Every week we ask folks around the CNET offices a question about pop culture. This week we wanted to know which movies they simply had to walk out of or turn off because they couldn't take it anymore.

Would It Be Better If Men Couldn't Vote?

Wired - August 19, 2017 - 2:00pm
John Kessel's latest novel imagines a world where men are given everything—except suffrage.

Charlottesville, HBO Hacks, and More Security News This Week

Wired - August 19, 2017 - 2:00pm
Charlottesville, HBO hacks, and more of the week's top security news.

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