Four members of the infamous “Church of Bleach”—a father and his three adult sons—are facing fraud and contempt charges in Florida in connection to selling industrial bleach as a “miracle cure-all.”
Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons, Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, all from Bradenton, Florida, were charged Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors in Miami allege that the men have been selling their industrial bleach product—called “Miracle Mineral Solution” or MMS—as a treatment for COVID-19 and other conditions. The prosecutors say the men willfully violated a federal order made in April that they stop selling and distributing the product. The family also allegedly sent letters threatening violence to the federal judge who issued the order and warned that they may stage “a Waco.”
Upstart electric vehicle maker Rivian has added $2.5 billion to its war chest, the company announced on Friday.
It's Rivian's fifth fundraising round in just 18 months. The company raised $2.85 billion in four previous fundraising rounds between February and December of 2019. This gives Rivian more than $5 billion to spend on manufacturing capacity for its forthcoming electric trucks and SUVs.
Rivian is planning to build two consumer vehicles that were both introduced to the public in 2018. There's an electric truck called the R1T and an SUV called the R1S. Both are based on the same battery-powered all-electric skateboard platform and boast ranges up to 400 miles.
Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a return of the best price we've seen on Apple's AirPods and Qi wireless charging case combo, which is now down to $150 on Amazon. For reference, Apple's MSRP for this configuration is $199, though we typically see it go for $169 on Amazon. The wireless charging case, meanwhile, usually costs around $70 on its own. Either way, while we've seen this price a few times before, we haven't seen this config drop any lower.
The AirPods are a known quantity at this point, so chances are you already know if you want a pair. Apple's true wireless earbuds still don't sound as good as most other headphones in this price range, and their unsealed design still won't be a tight fit in everybody's ears. But they continue to be dead simple to use and connect with other Apple devices, and they're exceedingly lightweight. If you already use a wireless charger for an iPhone, having the Qi charging case here can make refilling the headphones a bit less of a hassle, even if we wouldn't quite call it essential. This model comes with Apple's H1 wireless chip for steadier wireless connectivity and hands-free Siri support.
One caveat to note is that Apple is reportedly working on a new pair of AirPods that could arrive next year with a design similar to the AirPods Pro, which we consider a superior pair across the board. If you're in no rush, it might be best to wait. But if you're an iPhone owner who wants a new set of wireless charging headphones today, this is a good deal.
The French parliament has agreed to pass a new law requiring age verification on pornographic websites to prevent access by children under 18, Politico reports. The initiative has the support of President Emmanuel Macron, who called for such a measure in January.
The French law gives sites discretion to decide how to perform age verification. Requiring users to enter a credit card number seems to be one of the most popular options.
According to Politico, the law gives French regulators the power to create a blacklist for overseas sites that don't comply with the new rules. If a site doesn't respond to a warning from French officials, they can "ask the Paris Court of Justice to send an order to telecom operators to block the access to these sites from France."
Apps which integrate with Facebook's software were unusable for a while, thanks to a code change.
Microsoft says superimposing callers in the same virtual space makes chats more natural.
When Audi briefed Ars on its newest electric car, the part that most piqued our interest was the news that the Q4 e-tron Sportback will feature an augmented reality heads-up display. As we explained in that article, Audi didn't feel like elaborating much on the new technology. Perhaps it wishes it had, as it's going to be beaten to the punch by its deadly rival Mercedes-Benz. When the 2021 S-Class debuts in September, the brand's flagship sedan will offer an AR HUD, among other tech upgrades.
The automaker has even been forthcoming with some technical info on this latest driver assist. It uses a digital mirror device from Texas Instruments—perhaps no surprise given that TI has been developing automotive AR tech for a while now. The DMD has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels (or megamirrors, to be strictly accurate) and projects onto a 10˚ horizontal, 5˚ vertical aperture HUD, with the image appearing 33 feet (10m) away. (Mercedes-Benz says it's the equivalent of a 77-inch monitor.)
Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz hasn't shared any still images of the AR HUD in action, and there were only a few seconds of video in the b-roll that the company provided. But the automaker did helpfully tweet out a longer video this morning, which we've embedded below, as it really is the best way to see how the system works. (If the embedded tweet isn't showing up for you, you can view it here.)
Jack Dorsey is backing a plan to help "close the wealth and income" gap for citizens in 16 US cities.
An app designed to highlight independent pubs has risen to the top of the Google Play free app chart.
Google's latest Android version was installed on more devices, faster - but is still behind iOS.
Welcome to Edition 3.07 of the Rocket Report! This week, we're getting close to the opening of the Mars launch window, which occurs about every two years when Earth and the Red Planet align. It looks like United Arab Emirates' Mars Hope mission will the first of three probes to launch this summer, possibly as early as July 14.
As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.
Second-stage failure leads to loss of Electron rocket. On Sunday morning, local time, in New Zealand, Rocket Lab launched its 13th mission. The booster's first stage performed normally, but just as the second stage neared an altitude of 200km, something went wrong, and the vehicle was lost, Ars reports. The mission, dubbed "Pics Or It Didn't Happen," carried 5 SuperDove satellites for the imaging company Planet, as well as commercial payloads both for Canon Electronics and In-Space Missions.