Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Virgin Galactic's latest plane/rocket, dubbed "SpaceShipTwo", reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff this morning above the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Director Stu Witt told Bakersfield, California's KGET that the plane crashed east of Mojave. Two pilots helmed SpaceShipTwo, and their condition is still unknown; KGET reports that one fatality was mentioned in police and fire rescue scanner calls, while one parachute was reportedly spotted post-crash. Associated Press is reporting "one fatality, one major injury" from the crash, citing the California Highway Patrol.

Virgin Galactic initially reported an "anomaly" with the ship, and is now reporting the ship as a "loss." The company's Twitter account says the status of the two pilots is "unknown at this time." It's not clear what caused said "anomaly," nor is it clear how the ship crashed. SpaceShipTwo is the space-faring component of Virgin Galactic's plane/rocket combination; the plane component is known as "WhiteKnightTwo," and it apparently landed without incident. Virgin Galactic issued the following statement:

"Virgin Galactic's partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so."

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

If you've committed your streaming dollars to one of Roku's recent offerings, you're about to get access to a load of new content. The company announced today that Google Play Movies & TV is now available in its Channel Store for folks in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada. Similar to the mobile app, pausing when an actor is on screen will allow you to bring up his or her name via those handy Info Cards. You know, in case you're having trouble remembering. Mountain View's library of film and television episodes is accessible from current-gen gadgets (that's all devices after June 2011) now, and support for Roku TV is on the way.

0 Comments

If you prefer to carry Samsung's most recent handset instead of that newfangled iPhone 6, Sprint is now offering the Android option for lease. Until now, the carrier allowed customers to rent Apple's phone for $20 a month for two years. After that, you can either continue service month-to-month or send it in for something new. It'll be interesting to see how popular the option is with a phone that's been out for a bit, but the Galaxy S5 Sport is available for lease, too. If you're on the fence, or have a tight budget, Sprint's unlimited everything plan is $10 per month cheaper for iPhone 6 users/lessees.

0 Comments

Already using Office 365 on your Mac? Well, if you fancy Microsoft's email software too, you're in luck. The new version of Outlook for Mac is now available to the aforementioned subscribers, and it carries a smattering of new features. Aside from the usual performance boosts, there's a tweaked UI to bolster productivity, online archive support for Exchange searches, Master Category List syncing across platforms and more. In addition to that app, the company also mentioned that it plans to release a public beta for the next version of Office for Mac in early 2015, with the official arrival planned for the second half of the year. And as you might expect, Office 365 customers will get the new goods as part of the paid plan.

0 Comments

Here's some trivia for your next trip to the pub. Did you know that, in Virginia, you don't have to tell the cops your phone's unlock code, but you're obliged to open it if you use a fingerprint based passcode? It's a quirky piece of legal precedent that's just been established in the state after a key piece of legal evidence was believed to be trapped on the defendant's smartphone. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the court ruled that the fifth amendment's provisions against self-incrimination protect against giving up your passcode, but that since a fingerprint is already taken by the police - same as DNA or handwriting samples - it's fair game. Naturally, this is just one circuit court judgment in one state, but we imagine this is the sort of thing winding up at the supreme court in a few years time.

0 Comments

Operations Inside A Starbucks Corp. Coffee Shop

Love your morning coffee break, but hate having to wait in line amongst the masses? Well, Starbucks will allow you to skip the line entirely with its new app. Just place your order via that trusty smartphone, and you'll be able to walk in and pick it up. Of course, the company's mobile software sorts payments too, which certainly helps expedite the process. What's more, plans for a delivery option are in the works for folks who belong to its loyalty program -- but only in select markets. "Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot to your desk daily," CEO Howard Schultz said. "That's our version of e-commerce on steroids." The new version of the bean-slinging mobile app is set to arrive in December, beginning with Portland, Oregon before a nation-wide rollout in 2015.

[Image credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

0 Comments

Facebook, the site where people share their entire personal lives for everyone to gawp at, is now available on the anonymity network that's designed to do precisely the opposite. Follow this link in your Tor browser and you'll be able to tell friends you're at the Park Row Starbucks without the feds finding out where you are. Until now, Facebook saw Tor's global network of proxies as a malicious botnet, making it difficult for people to poke each other under cover of darkness. With this experiment, however, users can connect directly to Facebook's core infrastructure, providing end-to-end communication straight into one of the company's data centers. At the moment, Facebook's olive branch to the privacy mob is just an experiment, but software engineer Alex Muffett hopes that even the mobile site will be accessible in the same way.

0 Comments

The Wii U is flawed. I won't pretend that it isn't and I won't apologize for it either. If the system had an animal equivalent, it'd be that of a damaged pound puppy. And yet, it's my go-to next-gen console for gaming. The reason for that is simple: It actually has fun games.

Right now, Nintendo's curious console basically exists on borrowed time, bolstered by the thin cushioning of loyalists' money and a string of exclusive first-party titles with familiar names (e.g., the Marios and Zeldas). Nintendo's been more than clear that it sees the Wii U as a transition point on the way to the sleep- and fatigue-tracking technology it's pursuing under that vague "quality of life" initiative. We all know the Wii U's end is near. Those pitiful sales numbers, recent quarterly profit notwithstanding, are like a final, damning prognosis. It's just a matter of time before the company pulls the plug. So, rather than pummel Nintendo's console softball into obscurity, I'm here to slow clap as it marches to the grave.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Wireless charging is a little bit more convenient than plugging your device in, but was picking up a microUSB lead ever that much of a chore in the first place? White goods and TV supremos Haier believe so, which is why it's signed a development pact with wireless charging outfit Energous. The latter company's WattUp technology promises to deliver power over the same radio bands as a WiFi router and is apparently able to charge a smartphone from distances of up to 15 feet. The idea, at this early stage, is to cram these power transmitters into Haier's refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves, so that you can re-juice your phone while you wait for your dinner and do your laundry.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

netflix gif advertisement

To promote its recent launch in France, Netflix hired Ogilvy Paris to create an advertising campaign with a difference. The agency installed digital posters that change their content to match the context of their surroundings. GIFs from Netflix's content library in the country, such as Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and Fargo, are used to convey a range of emotions based on major current events, such as a sporting victory or the weather. The campaign will run through to Christmas, by which time locals will be more than used to the sight of 300's King Leonidas sheltering from the pouring rain under his shield.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Must Reads