The Morning After: SpaceX lines up a big test for the Starship

And our 'Cyberpunk 2077' first impressions are in.


Keep an eye out today — we may see the first high-altitude test flight for SpaceX’s Starship. The vehicle Elon Musk sees as the key to fast travel around the Earth and multiplanetary living has only taken short hops so far, but its next trip will reach 50,000 feet. The plan is to test out its aerodynamic capabilities and attempt a landing flip maneuver.

SpaceX Starship concept

SpaceX’s stream begins at 7 AM, but stay tuned for more information on exactly when the test will go down if you want to watch live — this could be historic.

— Richard Lawler

'Cyberpunk 2077' review: It’s worth the wait


Cyberpunk 2077

After multiple delays, CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated RPG (based on the table-top game of the same name) arrives on PC and consoles, and Jessica Conditt has spent about 20 hours in the world on Night City. The game is too deep for that to give a comprehensive view of what it contains (she took six hours to get beyond the prologue and meet Keanu Reeves) but more than enough to see if its 80s-tinged vision of the future holds up.
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Surprise, Christopher Nolan hates the Warner Bros. HBO Max strategy

The theater-loving director isn’t a fan of sending movies to streaming on release day.


Christopher Nolan loves two things: film and theatrical exclusive windowing. As such, an arrangement that will put the entire 2021 film slate from Warner Bros. on HBO Max the same day they debut in theaters is just unacceptable. With his flick Tenet due for video on-demand release next week, the director called HBO Max “the worst streaming service” and referred to the decision as a “bait and switch.”

The thing is, he’s not the only one taking issue with the news. WarnerMedia apparently informed theaters, production partners and people involved with the films about the news only minutes before it was announced last week. According to reports, companies like Legendary Entertainment are reportedly considering suing, while stars who took less up-front money in return for potential profits from the box office are wondering what this means for them.

Last but not least, Warner Bros. is facing questions about self-dealing as Variety and the New York Times reported the studio turned down a $250-million offer from Netflix for Godzilla vs. Kong, in favor of the HBO Max arrangement that guarantees far less money.
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Bitcoin exchange founder sentenced to prison for money laundering

The DOJ believes Alexander Vinnick ran BTC-e as a front for a money laundering operation.

Alexander Vinnick, the Russian man who founded and ran the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange service BTC-e, has been sentenced to five years in prison. A Paris court found Vinnick guilty of money laundering and ordered him to pay €100,000 (US$121,000) in fines.

Security firm Wizsec previously linked his private BTC-e accounts to funds stolen from Mt. Gox. Back in 2014, around $480 million worth of Bitcoins disappeared from the exchange service.

The US DOJ charged Vinnick with 17 counts of laundering up to $4 billion since the exchange was founded in 2011. Meanwhile, French prosecutors charged him for “extortion, conspiracy and harming automatic data-processing systems.” French authorities believe he helped create the Locky ransomware, which spread through email and was used to attack French businesses and organizations between 2016 and 2018.
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Apple's 2021 Mac CPU roadmap reportedly includes 32-core chips

You could also find 16-core chips inside MacBook Pros and iMacs.

Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Apple’s in-house silicon could scale well beyond the eight-core (or rather four-plus-four-core) M1 you find in the entry-level Macs we’ve seen so far.

Bloomberg reported that Apple’s 2021 roadmap includes chips for higher-end desktops (including a “half-sized” Mac Pro) with as many as 32 high-performance cores. It doesn’t beat out AMD’s 64-core Threadripper, but it would eclipse the 28-core Xeon currently available in the Mac Pro.

Beneath the high-performance machines, Apple is reportedly designing chips for higher-end MacBook Pros and iMacs with as many as 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Lots of questions to answer still, but if you were looking to upgrade your Mac work machine, it might be better to wait till next year.
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Apple Music arrives on Google's smart speakers and displays

Here's another alternative to YouTube Music.

Google Home

Google has announced that Apple Music is now rolling out to Assistant-enabled speakers and displays like the Nest Audio, Nest Hub Max, Nest Mini and more. Apple Music subscribers can ask the Assistant to find and play your songs, albums and playlists using their voice after they link their accounts in the Google Home app.

You’ll be able to set Apple Music as your default music streaming service, and when you ask your speaker to “play K-Pop Hits playlist,” it will stream from Apple’s library. You can ask Assistant for specific titles or playlists, tell it to pull up your liked songs or play music based on genre, mood or activity — the kind of stuff you might ask Siri for if you owned a HomePod. The feature rolled out yesterday in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan, though there’s no word yet on availability elsewhere.
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But wait, there’s more...

Black Mirror's creators made a 'Death to 2020' Netflix comedy special

Uber gives up on building its own self-driving taxi

What's on TV this week: 'Cyberpunk 2077' and 'Total Recall' in 4K

Elder Scrolls unveils a choose-your-own Twitter adventure

Google brings Pixel 5 features to older Pixel phones

Lunaz is turning 'classic' Range Rovers into EVs

CRISPR gene editing shows promise for sickle cell disease

XPrize launches a $15 million contest to develop alternative meats

LG plans to outsource more of its low-end and midrange phones

California's COVID-19 exposure notification app starts rolling out

Ford's autonomous cars are delivering fresh produce in Miami