The FAA is opening the door a crack for self-flying drones like Skydio to reach their potential

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge You can’t fly a drone at night. You can’t fly a drone over people. You need to be able to see it with your naked eye at all times — or have a dedicated observer who can. These rules exist to keep dumb drones (and reckless pilots) from crashing into people, property, and other aircraft in the skies.
But what happens when drones get smarter, and can dodge obstacles on their own? That’s the kind of drone that Skydio builds, and it appears to be successfully convincing the FAA to create exceptions to that naked-eye, Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) rule.
This week, the FAA granted the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) a blanket waiver to fly Skydio drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect any bridge, anywhere…
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The Batman is delayed until 2022, but The Matrix 4 is now coming next year

Today’s announcement of a Dune delay meant that Warner Bros. would have to shuffle its schedule, and now we have new dates for the studio’s biggest upcoming movies. Deadline and Variety report that The Batman is getting delayed yet again, moving from the October 1st, 2021 date now occupied by Dune to March 4th, 2022.
That March 4th slot was intended to be for the as-yet unrevealed Minecraft: The Movie, which is now without a release date. Black Adam, the DC Comics movie starring Dwayne Johnson, has also been taken off the schedule after previously being set for December 22nd 2021.
Filling that slot is a movie that will actually now come sooner than expected: Lana Wachowski’s Matrix sequel. The Matrix 4 was originally planned for release…
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John McAfee has been arrested in Spain and is facing extradition

John McAfee, who built a fortune selling cybersecurity software and has in recent years become a cryptocurrency evangelist, has been indicted on charges of tax evasion by the Department of Justice (DOJ). He has been arrested in Spain and is awaiting extradition, the DOJ said.
McAfee has had a contentious association with the law for years, though it’s at times unclear which run-ins are real and what has been fabricated. A former 2020 US Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party (yes, really), he claimed that the campaign was “in exile” after he was charged with “using Crypto Cuttencies [sic] in criminal acts against the U. S. Government” in January 2019. In that same video, he said he hasn’t paid taxes in eight years. (That will…
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Twitter’s ‘Birdwatch’ looks like a new attempt to root out propaganda and misinformation

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Twitter has confirmed it’s working on a new feature, currently dubbed “Birdwatch,” that could let the Twitter community warn one another about misleading tweets that could cause harm.
There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the idea, including whether Twitter will actually release it to the public or how it might work in its final form, but enough has leaked out that we do have a pretty fair glimpse at the feature — which, we understand, is still early in development and would not be released ahead of the US election.
As TechCrunch notes, the existence of such a tool was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs through app code for evidence of unreleased features, back in August. At a basic level, the idea is that you’ll…
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A shameful security flaw could have let anyone access your Grindr account

You would think a dating app that knows your sexuality and HIV status would take thorough precautions to keep that info protected, but Grindr has disappointed the world once again — this time, with a gobsmackingly egregious security vulnerability that could have let literally anyone who could guess your email address into your user account.
Luckily, French security researcher Wassime Bouimadaghene discovered the vulnerability, perhaps before it could be exploited, and it’s now been fixed.
Unluckily for Grindr, the company ignored his disclosures — until security researcher Troy Hunt (of Have I Been Pwned) and journalist Zack Whittaker (of TechCrunch) each confirmed the issue and wrote about it.
The details need to be seen…
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Bond was the last straw: Regal and Cineworld will reportedly close all theaters in US and UK next week

Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images Cineworld, owner of the largest chain of theaters in the UK and Ireland and the second-largest in the United States — Regal Cinemas — will reportedly close all its theaters next week, according to Variety, The Sunday Times, and others.
Variety reports that all 543 theaters in the US will be closed, which account for the chain’s 7,000+ screens in the region. The Sunday Times reports that it will close all 128 theaters in the UK and Ireland, too.
Both say James Bond is the reason.
Yesterday, the 25th James Bond film — No Time to Die — was pushed back to April 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, denying theaters one of the last major tentpole releases due out this year. Apparently, theaters were counting on Bond, specifically, to arrive on…
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2020 is giving us another chance to watch Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai get grilled by Congress

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have agreed to testify virtually before the Senate Commerce Committee on October 28th, Politico reported Friday evening. Assuming that the hearing is live-streamed in some way, that means you’ll be able to watch some of the world’s most powerful people get grilled by policymakers who’ve recently discussed changing the laws that let their companies grow to an unfathomable scale.
The hearing, which will take place just six days before the US Presidential election, will be the second major Congressional hearing featuring big tech CEOs this year; the House antitrust committee heard from Pichai, Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in…
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SpaceX aborts launch of updated GPS satellite just before takeoff

Update October 2nd, 10:00PM ET: Just 2 seconds before liftoff, SpaceX stopped the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket, without giving a clear indication of what went wrong. The next opportunity for SpaceX to fly is Saturday evening, though a launch date hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Original Story: Late Friday night, SpaceX is slated to launch a new upgraded GPS satellite for the US Space Force from Cape Canaveral, Florida — the latest spacecraft intended to help modernize the current GPS fleet. This will be the fourth GPS satellite of its kind to launch in the last three years, and the third one to be launched by SpaceX.
The satellite going up on this flight is GPS III SV04, which will become one of the 31 primary GPS satellites in orbit. This…
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Amazon says 19,816 workers have contracted COVID-19

Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images 1.44 percent of Amazon’s front-line employees, or 19,816 workers, have tested positive or been “presumed positive for COVID-19,” Amazon said in a blog post published Thursday. The company says it employs 1,372,000 front-line employees across both Amazon and Whole Foods.
The blog marks the first time Amazon has disclosed how many of its workers have contracted COVID-19, and comes after months of demands for increased transparency from workers, governments, and Amazon investors. Amazon warehouse workers have reportedly even worked amongst themselves to attempt to determine how many of their colleagues have contracted the disease. The disclosure is also notable following comments from Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations…
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