Marking the first US splashdown in 45 years, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley successfully landed in the Atlantic Ocean at 2:48 PM ET. This was the first crewed orbital flight using a private spacecraft to land back on Earth, as well as the first crewed spaceflight from the US since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011.
This is the last Crew Dragon test flight so, once SpaceX receives NASA certification, future flights will be regular missions carrying astronauts to the ISS. For NASA itself, it’s a major step forward for a Commercial Crew Program with lower costs.
For SpaceX, it’s keeping a step ahead of private spaceflight competitors, like Boeing, and I creep closer to setting up a savings account to one day book a flight into space.
TikTok owner reportedly agrees to sell US stake to avoid ban
Microsoft is apparently involved.
It’s been a chaotic weekend for TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance. President Trump said he would ban TikTok outright over its Chinese links and rejected talk of allowing a sell-off. (Not that the leader of the US has bigger issues to contend with at this very moment in time.)
A Reuters report claims that ByteDance agreed to sell its stake in the social network’s US operations to avert the possible ban. The agreement would have Microsoft protect American user data, according to the report, but Microsoft wouldn’t necessarily own TikTok.
On Saturday, Microsoft told several news outlets it had “paused” talks with TikTok following Trump’s suggestion he would ban the app, then we heard the tech companies were reportedly hoping to finish a deal by Monday. Microsoft followed up later, claiming it’s aiming to close the TikTok deal by September 15th. Whew. Continue reading.
Chromebook users get three free months of Stadia Pro
Try cloud gaming on a system practically made for it.
Google has introduced a new perk for Chromebook owners with a gaming itch to scratch: a free three-month trial of Stadia Pro. You’ll need a system released June 2017 or later, and you’ll still have to buy games not included with membership, but this could be just the ticket if you want to see how Destiny 2 or PUBG plays on your Chrome OS portable. Pro, of course, offers a shifting line-up of free games to play. Last month, this included Crayta and West of Loathing, but Triple-A games have also been included since Stadia’s launch. August’s bundle includes Metro 2033. Continue reading.
Sponsored by StackCommerce
The best weather app, Dark Sky, shuts down on Android
It’s now owned by Apple.
Apple has shut down Dark Sky on Android and Wear OS, as promised, leaving users without the app’s highly localized weather. Apple had initially planned to shutter these versions on July 1st, following its acquisition of Dark Sky in March, but offered a month-long extension right as service was due to end.
Your Dark Sky subscription should already be canceled if you were paying $3 per year. The developers promised a “full refund” to members. Continue reading.