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2023-01-25 13:15:40| Engadget

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 SmithThe biggest stories you might have missedLG's latest ultra short-throw projector is a dream if you can afford itApple's latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro is up to $200 offThe 2024 Polestar 2 will have better range, stronger motors and a SmartZone sensor suiteSpaceX completes first stacked Starship fueling testNASA and DARPA will test nuclear engines for crewed missions to MarsThe agencies hope to demonstrate the tech as soon as 2027.NASANASA 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.Continue reading.Amazon's RxPass offers Prime members generic medications for $5 a monthIt 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 for Prime users. That makes RxPass 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.Continue reading.Forspoken review: A magical world with several cracksFluid battles, uneven plot.Square EnixIn 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.Continue reading.WhatsApp's native Mac app beta is now available to allIt'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.Continue reading.


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2023-01-25 11:38:25| TRENDWATCHING.COM

Spotted by: Thomas Klaffke


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2023-01-25 10:26:04| Engadget

Amazon union workers in the UK are striking for the first time over wages and what they call "severe" working conditions. They've rejected what they say is a "derisory" 0.50 pay raise (62 cents) and are demanding an increase to 15 ($18.48) an hour. A 98 percent majority of GMB union workers at Amazon's Coventry fulfillment center voted in favor of the "historic" walkout and announced a strike date of January 25th earlier this year. Of 1,000 workers at the plant, 300 are unionized and expected to participate in the action. Amazon told Engadget in a statement that the size of the strike is "only a fraction of 1 percent of our UK employees." It added that pay has increased 29 percent since 2018 and that it made a one-time 500 payment to help workers with inflation. "Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more including private medical insurance, life assurance, subsidized meals and an employee discount, to name a few."However, two employees interviewed by the BBC said Amazon's offer last August of a small pay raise to between 10.50 and 11.45 per hour was a "smack in the mouth" considering the company's profits and high inflation. "These people had worked two years through the pandemic, that had seen Amazon's shares go through the roof, they had seen the profits just become unimaginable," Darren Westwood told the BBC. They also decried the company's work culture, saying Amazon's warehouse robots "are treated better than us." Westwood said that employees are monitored constantly and questioned for any idle time lasting a few minutes. He also noted that some employees work 60 hours a week to make ends meet.In April of 2022, workers at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse voted to become the first in the US to join a union, and Amazon's appeal failed last week. The company recently announced that it would eliminate 18,000 jobs, the majority from its retail and recruiting divisions. It has been frequently been accused of poor working conditions, notably after a warehouse collapsed in a tornado, and also faced criticism over anti-union activities. Update 1/25/2023 5:18AM ET: The post has been updated with Amazon's statement to Engadget.


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