Author: Matt Burns

Blue Origin successfully lands both booster and crew capsule after test launch

TECHCRUNCH Today, at its Texas launch facility, Blue Origin preformed its most critical test to date. It preformed a live separation test of its crew capsule from the rocket booster and everything preformed as expected. The crew capsule fired its escape motor at the right time, sending the capsule higher than it ever has gone before. This successful test is a huge milestone for Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, which previously stated, if the test went well could put the rocket company in position to become operation by the end of the year. Touchdown of the crew capsule! — Blue...

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Watch Blue Origin’s most critical rocket launch right here

TECHCRUNCH [embedded content] The launch is scheduled for 11:00 am EDT on July 18, 2018. Blue Origin is about to preform a critical rocket test. For the first time Jeff Bezos’ rocket company will send send its New Shepard rocket to its red line at the edge of space and then fire the escape motor on the capsule that will carry passengers. This is the ninth mission for the New Shepard program and the third time this reusable rocket was used. About 20 seconds (and 100 feet) after the New Shepard and the crew capsule separates, the motor on the capsule will fire with 70k foot pounds of thrust, sending the capsule 50,000 ft higher than it has gone before. After the motor fires, parachutes will hopefully deploy allowing the capsule to return safely to solid...

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Microsoft to launch new Xbox hardware next month

TECHCRUNCH Microsoft is teasing new Xbox hardware and accessories will launch at Gamescom in Germany next month. Details are limited. The word comes from a Microsoft blog post about the event in which it lists the date and time of the August 21 event, which will feature “lots of news, all-new Xbox hardware and accessories, and features on upcoming titles.” Don’t expect the successor to the Xbox One, though. There are several options here and most signs point to a new Xbox Elite controller. Rumors have been swirling that the updated controller will feature USB-C charging, Windows 10 compatibility...

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Prime Down: Amazon’s sale day turns into fail day

TECHCRUNCH It’s not just you. Amazon Prime Day started 15 minutes ago, and so far, it’s not going well for Amazon. The landing page for Prime Day does not work. When most links are clicked, readers are sent to an error page or to a landing page that sends readers back to the main landing page. Direct links to the product pages, either from outside links or the single product placement on the landing page, seem to work fine. I just bought this tent two weeks ago for $120. Some users are reporting errors when completing a purchase, too....

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Hear BMW’s Dieter May explain the connected car at Disrupt SF 2018

TECHCRUNCH Mobility is undergoing a radical transformation and the topic will be thoroughly examined at Disrupt SF this September. We’re excited to have BMW’s Dieter May speak on the main stage about how the German car company is addressing the connected car while still building, what they say is, the ultimate driving machine. And bonus! May plans to unveil something brand new right on the Main Stage. We can’t share many details on the unveiling, but we can say that it’s certainly worth your attention. May has been at BMW since 2014 when he joined the car company after eight years at Nokia. He currently leads the digital products and services as a Senior Vice President. It’s an interesting position that puts him in the middle of merging consumer technology with the driving experience — and doing it in a safe manner. That’s the tricky part and a topic we’re excited to speak to him about. BMW is in a tough position like most auto makers. Consumers expect the latest and flashiest technology. Massive LCD screens are expected now to display rich navigation with always-updated information. Auto makers need to deploy this technology in a manner that is safe and practical. BMW just revealed its latest in-car operating system that upends traditional BMW style in favor of what’s best for the driver. We’re excited to talk to talk to...

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iFixit finds dust covers in latest MacBook Pro keyboard

TECHCRUNCH Apple released a refreshed MacBook Pro this week and top among the new features is a tweaked keyboard. Apple says its quieter than the last version and in our tests, we agree. But iFixit found something else: thin, silicone barriers that could improve the keyboard’s reliability. This is big news. Users have long reported the butterfly switch keyboard found in MacBook Pros were less reliable than past models. There are countless reports of dust and lint and crumbs causing keys to stick or fail. Personally, I have not had any issues, but many at TechCrunch have. To date...

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Sales of PCs just grew for the first time in six years

TECHCRUNCH Don’t look now, but the PC might not be dead. According to Gartner, collector of marketshare and industry metrics, worldwide shipments of personal computers just experienced the first year-over-year growth since 2012. Shipments totaled 62.1 million units, which is a 1.4 percent increase from the same time period in 2017. The report states “experienced some growth compared with a year ago” but goes on to caution declaring the PC industry as in recovery just yet. The top five PC vendors all experienced growth with Lenovo seeing the largest gains of 10.5% — though that could be from Lenovo...

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Blue Origin could charge $200k-$300k for a trip to space

TECHCRUNCH How much would you pay to leave our dumpster fire of a world for just a few minutes? Blue Origin is considering charging $200,000 to $300,000 according to a Reuters report. For that price, passengers would get a seat on Blue Origin’s New Shepard, the commercial space vehicle from Jeff Bezos’ rocket company. The rocket would take passengers to suborbital space to experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth. This is done autonomously and can hold six passengers. Parachutes will return the capsule back to solid ground. This claim comes from two people with knowledge of...

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