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SpaceX launched a trio of spacecraft, including a lander bound for the

Update February 21st, 9:30PM ET: SpaceX successfully launched all three spacecraft into their intended orbits. The Falcon 9 used for the mission also landed on SpaceX’s drone ship, despite traveling through rough weather conditions. The landing marks the third successful touchdown of this particular rocket, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk noted that it would fly again in April, performing a key test flight of the company’s new Crew Dragon capsule. If that happens, this Falcon 9 booster will be the first one to go to space and back four times.

Original story: Tonight, SpaceX is set to launch its second Falcon 9 rocket of the year. This one will carry an eclectic trio of spacecraft into a high orbit above Earth. The payloads include an Indonesian...

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Japanese startup plans to test an experimental battery on the Moon

Japanese startup ispace plans to bring a solid-state battery to the Moon in 2021.

Wanting to use solid-state batteries in space is nothing new, but the technology hasn’t gotten off the ground yet here on Earth

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Mystery FCC filing probably isn’t a new Google Wifi

A mysterious unreleased Google device has cleared the Federal Communications Commission. But unlike the internet (and we) originally thought, it doesn’t look like it’s a new Google Wifi mesh router.

As 9to5Google notes, the new device was actually created by a company called Murata Manufacturing Co. under an FCC ID of VPYLB1CQ, with Google applying for a “Change of Identification Request” that would grant a new FCC ID (A4R-1701AA1) for actually marketing and selling the product.

But Murata’s 1CQ isn’t a router, nor even the sort of processor you’d find inside one — it’s a (relatively) low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module designed to fit inside smart home devices, among other things. It has slower peak speeds than today’s Google Wi-Fi,...

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Japanese spacecraft successfully touches down on an asteroid, grabbing

<em>An artistic rendering of Hayabusa-2</em>

Around 200 million miles away from Earth, a Japanese spacecraft just grabbed a tiny sample of dirt off the surface of an asteroid — the second time humanity has ever pulled off such a feat. The precious samples are destined to come back to Earth, where they’ll be analyzed by scientists. This scrutiny could tell us a great deal about the chemical makeup of these rocks, as well as what materials were present in the early days of the Solar System.

The spacecraft in possession of this newly acquired asteroid material is Hayabusa-2, operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It’s the successor to JAXA’s original Hayabusa mission, which was the first to return samples of an asteroid to Earth in 2010. Launched in 2014,...

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Spectrum has a streaming service that’s basically its cable package

For those who have chosen not to pay hundreds a year for cable networks, but still subscribe to Spectrum for internet, Spectrum has a deal for you. It wants to bring you cable, packaged as a streaming service that costs $14.99 a month, as a bid to keep cable relevant when there are more alternatives to cable now than ever.

The “streaming service” of sorts is called Spectrum TV Essentials and it includes popular cable networks like the Weather Channel, Food Network, Nickelodeon, and MTV. Unlike other streaming services that offer individual movies and shows, TV Essentials basically takes a few dozen of Spectrum’s channels and offers them to its internet subscribers. These are the channels the cable company offers already in its standard...

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Samsung will extend Bixby button remapping to premium Galaxy phones ru

The Bixby button saga has been an ongoing blemish on an otherwise sterling smartphone record for Samsung since the release of the Galaxy S8 nearly two years ago. We’ve written endlessly about how the button is “structural bloatware” and a wildly unnecessary feature bolted onto a flagship phone, one that’s required lengthy explanations for how to disable it entirely or use third-party software to remap it to something you might find useful.

But with the new S10, announced yesterday, Samsung has finally included a built-in method for remapping the button to a command of your choosing. Even better: the company says it’s now extending that remapping capability to other flagship phones in the Galaxy line. That includes the S8 and S9 lines,...

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Lucid Motors is working on an electric SUV that may debut this year

Electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors has begun working on an SUV, and it could unveil the design as early as this summer, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans. The startup’s first car, an all-electric sedan called the Lucid Air, is scheduled to go into production in late 2020.

Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors’ chief technology officer, didn’t deny the SUV plans in an interview with The Verge last week. Rawlinson said it’s “quite possible” that the Silicon Valley-based automaker would reveal plans for an SUV later this year.

“We have a plan for future models in mind, and we can hopefully be in a position to clarify that plan later this year,” Rawlinson told The Verge. “Certainly, with Lucid Air platform, we have a...

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Ricoh’s GRIII street photography compact goes on sale next month for

After showing it off at last year’s Photokina, Ricoh has announced release details for its long-awaited GRIII compact camera. As with the previous two models, it pairs an 18.3mm (28mm-equivalent) f/2.8 lens to an APS-C sensor with the goal of enabling high-quality, discreet street photography. This time around, though, the resolution has been upped to 24 megapixels, the controls have been rethought, and the body has been slimmed down further partly through the removal of the built-in flash.

It’s not a revolutionary upgrade, but the GR series is about austerity and minimalism, and the GRIII’s tweaks should help it stay relevant in a world where everyone already carries 28mm-ish-equivalent prime lenses in their pockets. Ricoh will start...

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Google will end forced arbitration for employees in all disputes

Google announced today that it will end forced arbitration for its employees, after workers at the company criticized the policy.

After reports of sexual misconduct by executives at Google, 20,000 workers walked off the job, and made an end to forced arbitration one of their demands. In response, Google announced that it would end the practice for sexual harassment and assault cases, but not more broadly. In today’s announcement, the company said it would expand that policy to current and future employees in any type of dispute.

The policy will go into effect March 21st for employees around the world, but will not apply to claims that have been settled already.

Forced arbitration agreements, which reach beyond the tech industry,...

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Corsair made new RAM sticks featuring its tiniest LED lights yet

Corsair just launched the first RAM sticks featuring a new LED technology that fits 100 lights in the space where there were once just four. The Dominator Platinum RGB memory sticks, first shown off at CES last month, are now available. The result is more vivid colors that can be even more customizable than those in previous memory sticks.

The new glamorous DDR4 RAM sticks also come with the possibility of marginally improved performance, too, according to Corsair, although we won’t know until the benchmarks are in. The condensed lights are supposed to draw less power, potentially allowing the sticks to run at tighter timings.

The Dominator Platinum RGB sticks come in packs of two, four, or eight with different...

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