In November, millions of Taylor Swift fans logged on to Ticketmaster to grab tickets for her 2023 tour. However, the site crashed, rendering verified users unable to purchase. Ticketmaster's parent company, Live Nation, explained that while 1.5 million people had signed up as legit customers, over 14 million hit the site when tickets went on sale – many of which were bots.
Live Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the company "learned valuable lessons" from the Swift debacle. Three senators shoehorned in Taylor Swift quotes into their statements and questions – which I loved.
Berchtold called for Congress to expand the BOTS Act to "increase enforcement." Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal reminded Berchtold there are already legal options for going after scalpers using bots to procure tickets. "You have unlimited power to go to court," Blumenthal said. "Your approach seems to be that everyone else is responsible here."
– Mat Smith
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NASA and DARPA will test nuclear engines for crewed missions to Mars
The agencies hope to demonstrate the tech as soon as 2027.
NASA is teaming up with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to test a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space, to use the technology for crewed missions to the red planet. The agencies hope to "demonstrate advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology as soon as 2027," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. "With the help of this new technology, astronauts could journey to and from deep space faster than ever – a major capability to prepare for crewed missions to Mars." There are, of course, risks involved with NTP engines, such as the possible dispersal of radioactive material in the environment should a failure occur in the atmosphere or orbit. Nevertheless, NASA says the faster transit times NTP engines can enable could lower the risk to astronauts – they could reduce travel times to Mars by up to a quarter. Nuclear thermal rockets could be at least three times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion methods.
Amazon's RxPass offers Prime members generic medications for $5 a month
It has medications for 80 common health conditions.
Amazon has launched a new subscription service for customers in the US to get as many eligible medications as they need for $5 a month. The new service, called RxPass, is part of the e-commerce giant's Pharmacy business, which launched in 2020 as a two-day prescription drug delivery service. RxPass is a $5 add-on for Prime, which sets users back $139 a year or $15 a month in the US. Customers will need to pay $5 out of pocket, since the service does not take insurance, like Amazon Pharmacy does, for purchases outside of the program. People enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and any other government healthcare program will not be able to sign up for RxPass, either.
‘Forspoken’ review: A magical world with several cracks
Fluid battles, uneven plot.
In Forspoken, you control the agile, angry Frey, slinging elemental attacks (and f-bombs) at multiple monsters before leaping off a cliff face and swinging from a molten outcrop. You keep moving, through the lands of Athia, through the adventure, because it's enjoyable and satisfying, but also because when you slow down, you start to see the cracks. Delayed twice, while the fighting system is generally solid, Forspoken has a lot of sub-quest padding, and most of it's pretty dull.
WhatsApp's native Mac app beta is now available to all
It's optimized to run fast and efficiently on Mac hardware.
Mac users now have a native version of WhatsApp. The new app is optimized for Mac hardware and built with Mac Catalyst, so it should be faster and more efficient than the current web-wrapped Electron version. You also get a new interface with three panels to easily flip between chats, calls, archived and starred messages, while seeing contacts and interactions at a glance.