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Go read this Daily Beast story about a new online school Elon Musk helped start


Back in 2015, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he had started a school to teach his five kids, eventually expanding it as a non-profit school for some children of SpaceX employees. He said at the time that his kids’ school wasn’t “doing things I thought should be done,” so he hired away his kids’ teacher to help found the Ad Astra School. It did away with formal grade structures and put a focus on problem solving, per Musk’s direction, and he paid for all the costs involved.

Now, he’s given an initial donation to a new online, for-profit school in Los Angeles, according to an investigation by The Daily Beast. According to business filings uncovered by The Daily Beast, the Astra Nova School, which plans to open in September was incorporated by Musk associate Jared Birchall. Read More

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The Verge

Streaming this week: Babysitters’ Club and The Old Guard on Netflix, Palm Springs on Hulu


If you have spent the holiday weekend watching the Hamilton movieon repeat, let’s just say I’m not judging you. At all. Polygon has an interesting analysis about how different the musical is on film.

But if you’re looking for a break from Lin Manuel & co. and want something a little different to watch this week however, there are a few new originals on Netflix and Hulu worth checking out.

The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix, now playing)

OK so maybe we’re not quite the target audience for The Baby-Sitters Club, but there is a great deal of nostalgia around this new show based on the beloved Ann M. Martin book series (that’s right, I said “beloved”). Polygon says the production meets the challenge of setting the series in 2020 “updating small details of the bigger plotlines to more effectively capture the present day. It keeps the essence of the characters, but little touches — like the rival league The Baby-Sitters Agency launching a social-media campaign — help keep the stories engaging.” The show also doesn’t treat the babysitters’ parents like the Walsh parents in Beverly Hills 90210, that is, they are not just props for the kids’ plot lines. Read More

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The Verge

33 powerful Black Lives Matter murals


First, boards covered businesses in New York and Oakland. Then, so did art. Graffiti artists, muralists, and others, including artists who’d never before put up large-scale works — famous and not — used the boards as blank canvases. Memorials to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as others who were killed by police, graced many walls; another way of saying Black Lives Matter. Other art included calls to defund the police, poems, and expressions of all kinds. Some neighborhoods became ersatz outdoor galleries, often empty of the usual crowds, unless protesters passed through. Read More

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Rocket Lab’s 13th launch ends in failure, after rocket experiences problem mid-flight


Rocket Lab’s 13th mission ended in failure on Saturday, after the company’s rocket experienced some kind of problem after launching to space. As a result, Rocket Lab lost its rocket, as well as all the satellites it carried on board.

The company’s Electron rocket successfully took off at 5:19PM ET from Rocket Lab’s primary launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The launch seemed to proceed just fine for the first crucial minutes, but about six minutes into the launch, live video from the rocket stalled. At that point, Rocket Lab’s livestream indicated that the rocket started to lose speed, and the vehicle dropped in altitude. Read More

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DuckDuckGo reinstated in India after being unreachable since July 1st


Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has been restored in India after being unreachable for many users there since July 1st, Android Police reported. Reports about what was causing the outage have varied. Some users reported the Indian government appeared to be behind the block, and others said they were getting what appeared to be DNS lookup errors, according to Android Police.

DuckDuckGo tweeted that the service appeared to be restored in India as of Saturday morning.

We’re seeing our services being broadly restored in India. Thank you for all of your reports, bringing attention to this issue. Read More

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Reddit says it’s fixing code in its iOS app that copied clipboard contents


Reddit says it’s releasing a fix for a piece of code that copied contents from users’ clipboards. Users in a beta version of iOS 14, which sends an alert when an app tries to copy clipboard information, reported receiving the alerts with each keystroke in Reddit’s iOS app.

“We tracked this down to a codepath in the post composer that checks for URLs in the pasteboard and then suggests a post title based on the text contents of the URL,” a Reddit spokesperson wrote in an email to The Verge. “We do not store or send the pasteboard contents. We removed this code and are releasing the fix on July 14th.” Read More

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New trailers: Pixar’s Soul, Beyoncé’s Black is King, and more


Like seemingly everyone else right now, I watched back through Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time in years (actually, just the second and third seasons since my wife got through most of the first one without me) because it’s come back to Netflix. It’s been really wonderful seeing such a brilliant, funny, epic, and deserving show suddenly getting this widespread recognition.

On (what is probably my fourth) rewatch, what really stood out to me is the incredible attention the show gives to building out vibrant, fascinating cultures throughout its world. The show’s protagonists are constantly traveling, yet even towns and characters that only show up for an episode get distinct traits and humanizing moments. It adds up to a fantasy world that feels uniquely rich and complete. Read More

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The Verge

Summer tech: recommendations for gadgets, gear, and gizmos


Despite all of the ills and upheavals that 2020 is bringing, there is at least one thing that we can celebrate: summer is here. And while your favorite sports team may be on hiatus, your vacation trip may be canceled, and your family get-together will have to wait, there are still things to enjoy and ways to relax. The staff of The Verge has gotten together to recommend some of their favorite gadgets, devices, and gizmos to help you have the best summer possible.

Olympus OMD E-M10 Mark II.

Sitting inside all day means that even the most simple and short visits outside can feel kind of magical and otherworldly. It’s fun for me to bring my camera, Olympus’ E-M10 Mark II, along for walks so I can scope out and capture little moments of beauty in the world before I climb back into my dwelling. I’d normally do this during any summer, but it feels especially worthwhile to do during this peculiar one. Read More

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July Fourth tech deals: the best sales on 4K TVs, laptops, and more


Tomorrow is July Fourth, or Independence Day if you live in the US. Like all major US holidays, there are some good sales happening on tech that are worth mentioning. We’ve listed the best ones we know about below, broken up by category. Many of them are happening through tomorrow night, so it’s best to hurry if you want to get your shopping on. Though, some of them last for a few more days.

Computing

Acer is offering a 20 percent discount on almost anything from its online store, including laptops, monitors, desktops, accessories, and more. Use the code JULY2020 at checkout to save. In terms of exclusions, certain products listed here can’t be discounted. Read More

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The Verge

LinkedIn says it will stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard


LinkedIn plans to stop its app from repeatedly copying the contents of an iOS device’s clipboard, after a user highlighted the seemingly privacy-invasive practice earlier this week. ZDNet reports that LinkedIn called the behavior a bug.

The app copies clipboard contents in order to perform an “equality check” between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard, according to LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger. Berger did not say why this check was necessary. “We don’t store or transmit the clipboard contents,” Berger wrote on Twitter. Read More