Blue Origin joined forces with Boeing's/Lockheed Martin's United Launch Alliance to build its BE-4 rocket engine last year. Now, the American-made component has completed over 100 staged-combustion cycles, which "included a representative BE-4 preburner and regeneratively cooled thrust chamber using multiple full-scale injector elements." Since we're not all rocket scientists, it just means the Jeff Bezos-backed space corp put its parts through rigorous testing before it starts full-engine tests.

With a revolving door of owners, the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square (previously the Nokia Theatre) has been taken over by Sony Computer Entertainment. The newly branded PlayStation Theatre is set to offer live performances and hold events showcasing the latest products on offer. Vice president of marketing John Koller noted "We are looking forward to exploring significant cultural moments at PlayStation Theater." Let's hope this one sticks.

In 2015, we want our displays to be sharper, brighter and even wrapped around the edges of our smartphones (maybe). Now, Japan Display has pushed the limits of screen resolution yet again by announcing a 17.3-inch 8K LCD module capable of running at a smooth frame rate of 120Hz. If you're trying to get your head around how many pixels that involves, JD is way ahead of you: it's 510 pixels per inch. The manufacturer says that the high resolution will offer an element of depth to images, and that it could be ideal for video-editing, medical displays and even as gaming screens. Unfortunately, that's all we know for now, but the LCD will be at CEATEC 2015 with all its millions of pixels on show.

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ASUS will install Office apps and other "innovative product solutions" from Microsoft on its Android phones thanks to a new patent licensing deal. The arrangement builds on an existing, private deal over Android phones between the two companies, according to ZDNet. Despite holding most of the patent cards, Microsoft magnanimously said the pact "opens the door to the kind of collaboration between Microsoft and ASUS made possible only through mutual respect and alignment on intellectual property." ASUS joins Samsung, LG, Sony and 20 or so other manufacturers that signed deals with Microsoft to bundle Office apps on Android devices.

Cyber Attack A01

Patreon, the crowdfunding platform for artists, has been hacked recently, and almost 15 gigabytes of data stolen from the site is now available online. Security researcher Troy Hunt of have I been pwned? told Ars Technica that he found 2.3 million email addresses (including his own) in the data dump, along with password and donation records, private messages and even the website's source code. Note that some screenshots of the data dump that surfaced online indicate that part of the data stolen was generated as recently as September 24th.

Plenty of digital ink's been spilled over Sprint's financial woes of late, and sadly here's some more. The Wall Street Journal's reporting that the Now Network is prepping to cut some $2.5 billion in costs that will "inevitably result in job reductions." However, Reuters says that its a bit early to start talking numbers regarding the latter bit. The company's also stopped outside hiring and apparently any money spent has to go through the carrier's finance department for approval from here on out. Maybe don't expect to see more $1 iPhones or free DirecTV service anytime soon, then.

The latest Tweetbot update for iOS might be a massive update for the whole platform, but it's iPad users who'll benefit the most from the changes. Since it's introducing a universal app for all iOS devices, iPad owners will finally be able to enjoy the interface that's long been available for the iPhone, along with a split-view multitasking mode. The updated app now also has a stats and activity tab where you can see the users who followed you and retweeted or favorited your tweets. Its redesigned profile page displays recent tweets, and it gives you the option to reply to each tweet right on the notifications panel. In addition, it comes with a new column view and landscape support for Apple's phones and tablets. Tweebot 4 is now out on iTunes at 50 percent off ($4.99) its regular price ($9.99) for a limited time, though it's unclear how long the promo will last.

Back in December, Telltale Games hinted that there was a narrative-driven installment of the Minecraft franchise on the way. Now in the newly released trailer, we get to see the story behind the first episode dubbed "The Order of the Stone." Players will assume control of Jesse (who can be either a man or woman, kudos for the gender-neutral name Mojang) who takes a group of friends to a fan convention that celebrates a group of lauded warriors called -- obviously enough -- 'The Order of the Stone.' Obvious trouble brews and it is up to Jesse and his square-pals to track down the Order, consisting of Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect, to restore peace and justice to the Minecraft universe.

As the long, slow download of data from the New Horizon's mission continues, NASA has posted some new high-res enhanced color pictures of Pluto's largest moon, Charon (shown above in the upper left corner). Other than a reddish polar region, the images also reveal a surprisingly detailed landscape with canyons, mountains and more. A video composite of images (embedded after the break) takes us flying over a canyon NASA says is four times as long as the Grand Canyon, and twice as deep. NASA says even better pictures are on the way, although with the spacecraft 3.1 billion miles away and still going, we'll be waiting a year to get everything.

Microsoft is giving Outlook on the web a couple of familiar social media-flavored features. First, it's adding a thumbs up on every email, which you can click on the reading pane. That gives you a way to publicly "Like" or show ideas support, particularly for school/work group messages -- if someone else likes the email you sent, you'll get a notification. The other one is obviously inspired by Twitter's @mentions: when you want to call someone's attention in the body of an email, simply type @ to open up your directory and list of frequent contacts. If the person wasn't originally in the group message, his email address will automatically be added in the To: box.

Washington DC

If you thought Amazon was done getting cozy with CBS, think again. The online retailer today announced yet another streaming deal with the TV network, which will give it exclusive access to three new summer series through 2018. What this means is you'll be able to watch certain CBS episodes on Prime Instant Video four days after they're first aired, as has been the case with Under the Dome and Extant -- two of the channel's most popular shows. This new licensing partnership includes episodes from CBS' upcoming BrainDead a comic thriller about brain-eating aliens in Washington, DC, plus two more shows that have yet to be disclosed.


It's no secret that ad-blocking software, well, blocks ads. Now that Apple allows ad-blockers on its mobile devices, The New York Times decided to find out what else the software does for your iPhone 6's data plan. Turns out, using a mobile ad-blocker in the Safari browser netted a 21 percent increase in battery life (that's with internet browsing only though), significantly lowered the device's data usage and often shaved seconds off loading times. This means ad-blockers can save you money, as well. For example, hitting up the homepage every day for a month costs about $9.50 in data usage in ads alone, the study found. That's the most extreme example, since that site featured video ads front-and-center. NYT tested 50 news sites in total, including Engadget.

There's yet another interesting roundup of products hitting Humble Bundle's digital shelves tomorrow. The charitable gaming distributor announced on Thursday that it is rolling out a new monthly subscription bundle of online indie games. The subscription service will cost an even $12 each month (with 5 percent of that figure going towards charity) and unlocks on the first Friday of every month. These bundles will feature the company's standard curated mix of marquee and lesser-known gaming titles. To commemorate this new service, anybody that orders the bundle on Thursday October 1st, 2015 will receive a free copy of "Legend of Grimrock 2". Unfortunately, this new bundle is currently only available for Steam users on the PC.

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Ah majestic dinosaurs, your oversized bodies and tiny brains may have been doomed no matter what. But, that asteroid that wiped out all of the giant lizards may have had some volcanic help. According to a new paper published in Science, the Chicxulub impact may have accelerated volcanic activity and helped to release toxic gas from a massive (200,000 square miles massive) lava lake in India known as the Deccan Traps. The researchers point out that the impact didn't cause the geologic activity (like the sea of melted metal) but it's likely that it intensified the situation. That one-two punch of asteroid impact and volcanoes could be the reason why 66 million years ago 70 percent of species on the planet were wiped out. Researchers stated that after the events it could have taken 500,000 years for the Earth's ecosystem to bounce back. The study could also reconcile the volcano versus asteroid extinction theory. Either way, pour out some Tricerahops for our fallen friends, the dinosaurs.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

The reviews are in and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is... not looking good. When I played the game in Chicago earlier this year, it was fine. There were a few glitches here and there, sure, but it was an early version of the game and that's to be expected. The game crashed a few times, but it wasn't anything like I've seen in various videos that've surfaced online this week. It's a sad state of affairs that games are releasing this buggy and possibly broken even two years into the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's lifecycle. There is light at the end of this tunnel though: You can save yourself some grief by watching Sean Buckley and myself broadcast the game this afternoon instead of buying it for yourself. What's more, we have four skateboard decks signed by Tony Hawk himself to giveaway! Join us for both starting at 6pm ET / 3pm PT.

T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling

T-Mobile has just revealed that it has been the victim of a major hack that has exposed the personal details, including social security numbers, for approximately 15 million of its customers. CEO John Legere has just posted a letter regarding the hack in which he says that a data breach of credit vendor Experian has revealed the info; T-Mobile uses Experian to process its credit applications. Names, addresses and birth dates for those 15 million customers were revealed to the hackers as well as encrypted data that contained details like social security numbers and drivers license numbers. Unfortunately, Experian believes that the encryption protecting those bits of data was compromised, as well.

As revealed last month, Verizon is throwing its hat into the streaming ring with Go90. This new service is geared toward none other than millennials, delivering free access to live, as well as on-demand content from iOS and Android devices. Inside the application, which is now officially out of beta, Verizon will offer a variety of programming provided by different TV and online networks -- including Comedy Central, ESPN, NFL Network, MTV, Univision, Vice and many more. Like TechCrunch points out, what makes Go90 different than services such as Sling TV is its main focus on mobile devices, which is definitely an interesting strategy. If it ends up succeeding, though, don't be surprised to see Verizon bring it to set-top boxes and other streaming hardware.

Robin Finck's slow entry into the video game industry began, as he puts it, "a hundred years ago." Around that time, Finck -- best known as the guitarist for Nine Inch Nails -- ran into Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson in a fairly unconventional place. "Mike Wilson and I camped adjacent one another at Burning Man," Finck explains. "I think he was dressed in shades and a flag and not much more, save the dust."

Microsoft's Windows 10 virtual assistant Cortana is getting even smarter today by integrating LinkedIn. If you're using Windows Mail and Calendar for meetings, you can now connect Cortana to your LinkedIn account, which will surface details about the people you're meeting with in Cortana's reminders. That includes information like photos (helpful if you're not good with faces), job titles and a quick link to their entire LinkedIn profile. Naturally, you'll also be able to send a LinkedIn request right from Cortana reminders. This is the sort of integration mobile mail and calendar apps have been including for years now, so it's not exactly new, but it'll still be useful for Windows 10 users. And it's also a fitting example of how third-party companies can tap into Cortana.

Some people look a little unkindly on the so-called "S" years -- those years when Apple updates the iPhone, but doesn't change how it looks, and then sells that while secretly working on something flashier that will debut 12 months later. I don't think that's exactly fair. Those "S" years are when Apple adds some of its most useful features. Siri? Touch ID? Both valuable additions to the iPhone platform that have since grown in importance. This year we get 3D Touch, a potentially awesome way to interact with iPhones. The thing is, a device's worth isn't just tied up in one feature: It's about how all those moving parts work together. That's why the new 6s and 6s Plus (starting at $649 and $749, respectively, for 16GB models) are such great phones. The combination of much-improved hardware and some polished software makes this year's release far more than just a modest refresh.