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The Verge

‘League of Legends’ world championship will be held in Shanghai starting in September


Even though many esports tournaments this year have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Riot Games announced that it will hold the League of Legends World Championship 2020 in Shanghai from September 25th to October 31st. The finals will be held in Pudong Soccer Stadium. The company says by hosting the event at one site rather than several different sites, they’ll be able to more closely control the show environment.

At present the plans call for early stages of the tournament to have no in-person audiences. The company says it will rely on “local guidelines” to decide whether to allow an in-person audience for the finals. If so, details about tickets and any safety measures that need to be applied will be available later this summer. Read More

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TechCrunch

Astronauts successfully depart the ISS aboard SpaceX Dragon, starting their trip home – TechCrunch


NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have successfully undocked from the International Space Station, which is the first crucial stage of their return to Earth. Next, they’ll travel on a coast phase that will take them on a descent course back through the atmosphere from space, shedding speed as they prepare to deploy the parachutes of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and drop into the Atlantic Ocean for recovery.

The undocking, coast and splashdown phase are all meant to be performed entirely via automation, with the control systems SpaceX designed for Crew Dragon managing the entire process, including burns to control the capsule’s travel away from the Station and its controlled descent through the atmosphere. While re-entering the atmosphere, the Dragon will undergo tremendous stress, and its angle of descent is intended to slow its velocity to the point where it can safely deploy those parachutes to slow its fall even further, all the while keeping Behnken and Hurley safe. Read More

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Mashable

Netflix rolls out new playback speed settings, starting with Android

You want to watch a 30-minute episode on Netflix but you only have 20 minutes to spare. What can do you?

The answer to that question used to be “nothing,” but a new feature on Netflix now lets Android users bend time to their will. The addition of playback speed settings allows viewers to watch their content at both slower (0.5x and 0.75x) and faster (1.25x and 1.5x) speeds.

The feature is hitting Android first – I don’t have it yet, but watch for an app update soon if you haven’t gotten it – and Netflix intends to test it for eventual release on iOS and the web as well. The feature’s release comes after a testing process that started back in Oct. 2019. Read More

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Engadget

Watch SpaceX return Crew Dragon astronauts to Earth starting at 5:45PM ET


Whenever there’s a return, it’ll mark the successful completion of the first round trip of a private crewed space capsule. While this kind of mission won’t be routine for a long time, it represents an important moment in the shift away from strictly government-run spaceflight. The next major step may involve flights with civilians.

Behnken and Hurley also weren’t just on the station for show. They both conducted and assisted with numerous experiments, such as Earth observation studies and research into water droplets in microgravity. On that front, Crew Dragon’s mission may have been as helpful to science as it was to SpaceX’s long-term future. Read More

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Engadget

TikTok is starting a $200 million fund for its top creators


Social media has launched many otherwise-anonymous people to fame, but there’s always controversy and drama around how those people should be compensated. TikTok is no exception, so the company is taking some steps to keep creators from fleeing its platform for greener pastures with a $200 million TikTok Creator Fund. As the name implies, the Creator Fund will go towards users who want to try and make a living with the content they post on TikTok.

TikTok says that to apply for funding, you need to be 18 or older, meet an as-yet undisclosed “baseline” for followers and post consistently to the platform. Applications will open in August. The company says that it’s giving out the $200 million over the next year and expects to grow those funds during that time. Read More

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Engadget

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is on sale starting at $800 right now


Buy Surface Laptop 3 (Core i7) at Amazon – $1,250

Buy Surface Laptop 3 (Core i7) at Microsoft – $1,250

The most affordable Surface Laptop 3 runs on a 10th-gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Those are fairly standard specs for a first-party flagship laptop like this, and considering this model is usually $1,000, this is a good deal to grab if you wanted to spend less than that on a new laptop.

But other models of the Surface Laptop 3 are on sale, too, and we like the $1,250 configuration the most out of them all. Normally priced at $1,600, this model runs on a 10th-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Those specs will serve you better if you’re using the Surface Laptop 3 as your daily driver for work, school or anything else. That deal is only available at Amazon and Microsoft and only in select color options. Read More

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The Next Web

Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine is starting to look like a winner

Oxford researchers have developed a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Early testing in more than 1,000 clinical trial participants indicates the treatment is both safe and effective.

Epidemiology breakthroughs aren’t our usual subject matter here at TNW, but the opportunity to finally publish some actual good news about the COVID-19 pandemic was just too much for us to pass up.

The team, which included researchers from Oxford, and the Philipps University of  Marburg, Germany, developed the vaccine, called chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), by genetically-engineering a different virus known to cause the common cold in chimpanzees. Read More

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TechCrunch

Tesla lowers the starting price of its Model Y electric SUV – TechCrunch


Tesla has lowered the price of another vehicle. This time it’s the Model Y, an electric SUV the company started shipping in March. The long-range all-wheel drive version of the car is now listed with a purchase price of $49,990, or $3,000 less than what it was before. The car’s new pricing was first reported by Electrek over the weekend.

In May, Tesla cut prices for several of its electric cars, including high-end vehicles like the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. The new pricing comes as U.S. automakers try to attract buyers despite the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

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Engadget

Klipsch T5 II and T5 II Sport earbuds arrive in August starting at $199


Inside, there’s a new Bluetooth antenna that should offer a better connection and improved audio quality is onboard thanks to a new driver and diaphragm. There’s also a handy transparency mode to allow you to hear your surroundings without removing the buds from your ears. The T5 II is IP67 rated against dust and water, an improvement from the IPX4 on the previous model. Klipsch kept the battery life at eight hours on the buds themselves with three more charges in the case. And thankfully, the Zippo-like case is back. That was one of the best things about the T5. Even with all of the changes, Klipsch managed to keep the price at $199. Read More

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Tech Radar

4th of July TV sales 2020: 4K TV deals starting at just $129.99


The 2020 4th of July sale event is going strong and if you’re shopping for a TV bargain, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best 4th of July TV sales from retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Dell. You can score massive price cuts on a range of 4K TVs from brands such as Samsung, Sony, and more.

Our top 4th of July sale picks include a $100 price cut and a free Echo Dot on the Insignia 55-inch 4K Fire TV, the best-selling Samsung 50-inch TV on sale for $329.99, and this massive Hisense 75-inch 4K TV on sale for $699.99. Read More