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Industry & Technology

Hands-on: Switch’s NES controllers offer unmatched old-school authenticity

Ars Technica - 1 hour 21 min ago

Enlarge / Now you're playing with power.

Playing old-school games on the Switch thus far has been a choice between various control compromises. You can use two Joy-Cons held in two hands, but the tiny buttons and lack of a true d-pad make this setup less than ideal. Holding a single Joy-Con sideways eliminates the d-pad completely and forces you to curve your grip around a hand-crampingly small control surface. A Switch Pro Controller or various third-party solutions can solve these problems, but they come with relatively high prices and some added features you don't need for classic games.

Enter Nintendo, which is offering subscribers to its new Online service the ability to buy two wireless, Switch-compatible replica NES controllers for $60 (on top of the $20 a year subscription). After spending a few hours testing the little guys (just before pre-orders start shipping out) we found them to be competent, authentic throwbacks with some important limitations.

Truly authentic

Anyone with fond memories of gripping an NES controller in their youth will be happy to hear that Nintendo got the authenticity darn-near perfect with these replicas. Everything from the sizing to the tactile feel to the springiness of the buttons and the d-pad is practically indistinguishable from a brand-new NES controller you might have bought three decades ago. This isn't that surprising, since the wired NES Classic Edition controllers had the same level of fidelity, but it's still nice to see.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple to splash $10bn raisin' American bit barns

The Register - 1 hour 26 min ago
Cupertino pats own back for forking over dollars in home country

Apple has said it will spend $10bn on data centres in the US over the next five years, and will set up a new $1bn campus in Texas.…

Star Wars: The Mandalorian with Pedro Pascal -- plot, possible spoilers - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 33 min ago
Everything we know about the first live-action Star Wars series starring Pedro Pascal as we await the Disney+ streaming service.

Netflix may let you instantly rewatch must-see scenes - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 33 min ago
It's apparently only available for some shows.

Spock joins Star Trek: Discovery crew to fight new threat in season 2 trailer - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 35 min ago
A new captain, a mysterious space angel and Spock's beard. Check out the trailer for Discovery's new adventure.

A robot might deliver your Postmates orders in the future - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 35 min ago
Serve robots could make deliveries by traveling on sidewalks.

Blu announces its $80 Android 9 Pie Go phone for the US - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 37 min ago
Android Go phones are among the first to get the latest version of the Android OS.

Geminid meteor shower and bright comet team up for super sky show - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 37 min ago
One of the best displays of "shooting stars" and a close space snowball flyby could make for some epic nights of skywatching this week.

Amazon's 2019 challenges include Donald Trump, HQ2 protesters - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 40 min ago
Sure, everyone shops there, especially at this time of year. But critics are finding plenty to complain about.

Aston Martin Valkyrie's 1,000-hp V12 revs forever, weighs almost nothing - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 40 min ago
It sounds precisely as mean as its specifications look on paper.

Virgin Galactic makes history with SpaceShipTwo test flight - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic send two humans nearly space-high on a commercial launch.

22 great phones with headphone jacks you can buy right now - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
More phone makers are ditching the jack, but there are a few phones you can still get that have the useful port.

Virgin Galactic just flew to 82.68 kilometers—is this space?

Ars Technica - 1 hour 42 min ago

Enlarge / The VSS Unity spacecraft returns to Earth on Thursday. (credit: Virgin Galactic)

On a clear and cold Thursday morning in the Mojave Desert, Virgin Galactic's White Knight Two aircraft took off. It carried the VSS Unity spacecraft, which on its fourth powered flight, sought to make the company's highest and fastest flight ever. It succeeded.

With Mark "Forger" Stucky and C.J Sturckow piloting the vehicle, VSS Unity was dropped from White Knight Two before burning its rocket motor for 60 seconds, reaching a velocity of Mach 2.9 and soaring to an altitude of 82.68km. These were records for the company, which may begin flying space tourists in 2019.

How big of a deal is suborbital flight?

On one hand, it's difficult to get any rocket to fly high and true. Consider that Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004. It had a basic architecture at that time—an air-launched, rocket-powered spaceship based upon a proven design—and ample funding from a British billionaire. It still took 14 years for the company to make its first spaceflight.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google Doodle follows Geminid meteor shower to Earth - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 43 min ago
With the 2018 Geminids set to peak Thursday night, the slideshow doodle traces the meteor shower's journey from the sun.

Have you ever heard of Facebook Watch's biggest shows? - CNET

cNET.com - News - 1 hour 44 min ago
400 million people are tuning into Facebook's video hub every month.

Galaxy S10 rumored Feb. 20 launch, Mar. 8 release date, specs and price - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 3 min ago
A February launch event would mean the foldable phone comes later.

T-Mobile lied to the FCC about its 4G coverage, small carriers say

Ars Technica - 2 hours 4 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

T-Mobile lied to the Federal Communications Commission about the extent of its 4G LTE coverage, according to a trade group that represents rural wireless providers.

T-Mobile claimed—under penalty of perjury—to have coverage in areas where it hadn't yet installed 4G equipment, the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) said in an FCC filing Monday. The same group previously reported to the FCC that Verizon lied about its 4G coverage, leading to the FCC starting an investigation and announcing that at least one carrier exaggerated its 4G coverage.

Inaccurate coverage maps could make it difficult for rural carriers to get money from the Mobility Fund, a government fund intended to build networks in unserved areas. The FCC last year required Verizon and other carriers to file maps and data indicating their current 4G LTE coverage with speeds of at least 5Mbps. Carriers must provide "a certification, under penalty of perjury, by a qualified engineer that the propagation maps and model details reflect the filer's coverage as of the generation date of the map in accordance with all other parameters," the FCC order said.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

California text messaging tax could add extra fees to phone bills - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 6 min ago
The fees would reportedly help make mobile services more accessible to the poor.

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

The Register - 2 hours 10 min ago
SpaceShipTwo goes faster and higher than ever before

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo took its first trip into space today as the company launched the reusable rocket-powered craft on its fourth test flight above the Mojave desert in southern California.…

These Netflix original shows, documentaries and movies are on the way - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 23 min ago
The service unveils a stable of originals heading to your screens in early 2019.

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